At least 1,000 people were evacuated since Friday evening after the Hindon River’s flow increased by 10,575 cusecs in the last 48 hours and flooded upstream areas near Raj Nagar Extension in Ghaziabad, officials aware of the matter said on Saturday.
According to officials of the Uttar Pradesh irrigation department, the discharge in river Hindon was 2,848 cusecs with a water level of 199.05 metres on Thursday, 8,115 cusecs with water level of 199.85 metres on Friday, and 13,423 cusecs with water level of 200.25 metres on Saturday. The danger level is set at 205.8 metres.
“An unexpected increase in water discharge has flooded several upstream villages such as Karhera, Ator Nagla, and Firozpur Mohan, among others. The floodplains have been submerged, and we have deployed National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams to evacuate people to safer areas. Four shelters have been prepared, and approximately 1,000 people have been relocated,” said Vinay Kumar Singh, sub-divisional magistrate (Sadar).
Residents said they were caught off guard, and many fled to safer areas, leaving their belongings behind.
“The water arrived at 11am on Friday and caught us off guard. We thought it might not rise, but it inundated the neighbourhood by 4pm. My husband was not at home, so I grabbed my three children and walked to a safer location. Later, rescuers arrived in boats. All my belongings and household items were in the house and submerged in water,” said Lalita Devi, a resident of Balaji Colony near Ator.
Dinesh Ram, a resident of the locality, said that he invested his hard-earned money and constructed a new house for ₹6 lakh three months ago.
“I am a daily wager and saved all my money before taking out a loan to build this house. The house is completely submerged in water. I had no idea the land I purchased was in a floodplain. After being evacuated, my wife and I and our three children are now forced to remain in a shelter. Our neighbourhood’s water is about nine feet deep, and one can easily swim. Before the evacuation, I could obtain some clothes to wear while our household items were submerged in water,” said Ram.
Dheeraj Chaudhary, an Ator Nagla resident, said that more than 50 houses in his village and about 150 in nearby Adarsh Nagar were submerged in water.
“Water has entered houses and is about 5-10 feet deep. The evacuation effort is underway, and our gram panchayat is coordinating food, medicine, and water for the people. A medical healing facility and a cremation ground were also submerged. We haven’t seen such river flow since the 1978 floods,” Chaudhary added.
UPID officials said the 1978 floods inundated significant areas near the river, with a total discharge of about 130,000 cusecs. The Hindon barrage in the downstream can hold approximately 100,000 cusecs of water.
According to officials, the problems in upstream villages have occurred because there are no embankments between Karhera, adjacent to Hindon airbase, and upstream areas. After Karhera, the embankments continue towards the Hindon barrage near Vasundhara.
“The water level has been steadily rising for the past two days due to heavy flooding in Saharanpur. The level is expected to rise further in the coming days,” said Binod Kumar Singh, executive engineer UPID (Okhla).
Ghaziabad’s Loni flooded last week after the Alipur embankment on the Yamuna floodplains failed on July 13. The repairs were finished on the night of July 15.
The Yamuna flooded several areas, including the Tronica City industrial and nearby residential areas. The authorities are now on high alert to prevent a similar situation arising from Hindon and flooding Sahibabad and the surrounding areas.
Evacuation in Noida
According to Gautam Budh Nagar’s additional district magistrate (finance) Atul Kumar, the administration issued a flood warning on Saturday as the Hindon water level increased.
“The administration is evacuating the low-lying areas on Hindon floodplains, including Chijjarsi and Bahlolpur villages. We have issued a flood warning in the area as water discharge in the river has increased to 15,000 cusecs on Saturday from 8,000 cusecs on Friday,” he said.
As per irrigation department officials, the danger level on the Hindon river is 205.80 metres, while the Hindon barrage in Ghaziabad was recorded at 200.4 m on Saturday at 8 pm.