Army called in to help as flood situation in Indian capital New Delhi worsens

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India has deployed some army units in New Delhi to help repair a damaged drain to prevent flooding in more parts of the nation’s capital as the Yamuna river continues to flow way above the danger mark.

The water level in the Yamuna slightly receded on Friday to 208.25 meters, after climbing to record 208.66 meters (685 feet) a day earlier, according to Twitter posts by the Central Water Commission.

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Several low-lying areas of the city are now flooded, schools and universities have been closed, traffic movement is restricted and employees have been advised to work from home.

The army, along with the National Disaster Response Force, has started working on a war footing to prevent further flooding in the city, the Press Trust of India tweeted, citing Vinai Kumar Saxena, Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor.

The flood-hit areas of Delhi are likely to get some respite in the coming days as the river’s water level could fall further. The city is expected to mostly receive light monsoon rains until Tuesday after the region and neighboring hilly areas saw heavy downpours earlier this week.

Thousands of people have been moved from low-lying areas to temporary relief centers set up in schools and other buildings, with many people also taking refuge in tents and under flyovers.

About 25 percent of the city’s water supply will be affected due to the closure of its three treatment plants.

Railway and traffic movement on the Old Yamuna Bridge, a crucial transport link, has also been stopped as a precautionary measure.

Heavy rains and floods have disrupted normal activities in the National Capital Region, where more than 30 million people live.

Authorities have also restricted the entry of heavy vehicles in the capital, boosting prices of fruits and vegetables.

Prices of tomatoes have soared nine-fold in some areas from their levels at the start of 2023 as adverse weather conditions in some growing areas hit output. Shops and businesses in parts of the city have been closed due to floods.

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