New Delhi, June 19: The muddy, swirling waters of the Yamuna river were flowing over the danger mark Wednesday, leading to the closure of the city's 145-year-old railway bridge, and forced the evacuation of 2,000 families living along the river banks.
The landmark double-decker rail-cum-road bridge, built in 1868 and connecting sprawling capital city to its eastern part, has been closed for vehicular traffic, an official said Wednesday.
"The railway bridge will remain closed till the water level recedes to the safe level of 204 metres," Delhi Chief Secretary DM Sopli told IANS.
The danger mark for the Yamuna river stands at 204.83 metres in the city, while at present the river is flowing at 206.48 metres.
The water level has been rising in the Yamuna due to the release of 8.06 lakh cusecs of water from the Hathinikund barrage in Haryana Monday, and an additional 3.38 cusecs on Tuesday morning.
"Around 2,000 families have already been evacuated from the area around the river and will be allowed to go back only after the monsoon recedes," said Sopli.
As the city is not witnessing heavy rains, authorities are hopeful that no major flood situation would arise here.
"We are prepared to tackle any flood situation. The disaster control room has also started monitoring the situation and disseminating information regarding the water level in Yamuna through SMS," a Delhi government official said.
While 62 boats have been deployed for rescue operations, district magistrates have been directed to identify more low-lying areas in view of unprecedented rise in the water level. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet blockquote"><p>Yamuna goes past the 206-metre mark, could hit 207-metres by 1pm. Iron Rail Bridge, Delhi. | <a href="http://t.co/6EQk9M3HYi">pic.twitter.com/6EQk9M3HYi</a></p>— Shiv Aroor (@ShivAroor) <a href="https://twitter.com/ShivAroor/statuses/347221383350202368">June 19, 2013</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>