The Indian Army and Navy are playing a key role in resolving the flood crisis in Delhi after Yamuna waters spilled over the capital city’s busiest traffic junction, damaging a drain regulator and jamming the sluice gate of a barrage. Indian Army assistance was requested by the Delhi administration on the night of 13 July when the Yamuna river was flowing above the danger mark and inundating low-lying areas.
The Delhi Chief Secretary and Army authorities discussed the issues that merited Army intervention.
A team of Army Engineers was deployed to cut the overhang above the sluice gate of the ITO Bridge Barrage. The team worked through the night and completed one gate by morning and was on standby for assistance in opening jammed gates.
In the early hours of July 14, an additional team was felt near the WHO building in the same area where the flow of Yamuna water started inundating the city as the gate of the controller was damaged due to the surge of water from the river.
“The engineering team has assessed the situation, and constructed a temporary dam to divert water back to the Yamuna river. The flow of water in the city has been controlled. Army engineering team has been deployed at the location and is ready to deal with any situation,” the Army said in a statement yesterday.
Army was also deployed to restore water supply from Wazirabad Water Treatment Plant. The city’s water supply pumps are flooded and the filtration plant is rendered inoperable. The Army is ready to restore operations at the plant once the water level in the river recedes.
Two additional army contingents have also been moved from Meerut in neighboring Uttar Pradesh to augment available resources.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal yesterday said that the Indian Navy is also helping them open the jammed gates of the ITO Barrage. Five of the 32 gates of the ITO barrage are jammed.
After nearly 20 hours of non-stop efforts, the first jammed gate of the barrage was opened, Mr. Kejriwal said late in the night. A diving team uses a compressor to extract sediment from the water, then the gate is pulled up by a hydra crane.