Urban Floods

Urban Deluge due to rising Yamuna Level in Delhi


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: NA

Mains level: Urban Deluge

yamuna flood

Central Idea

  • The Yamuna River in Delhi is experiencing it’s highest-ever water levels, causing concerns and necessitating emergency actions.
  • Heavy rainfall in northwest India, including the Yamuna basin states, and increased water release from the upstream Hathnikund Barrage in Haryana are contributing to the unprecedented water levels.

Unprecedented Water Levels and Emergency Response

  • Delhi’s Yamuna River is currently flowing at the highest-ever recorded level in the city.
  • Delhi CM has written to Union Home Minister, requesting controlled water release from the Hathnikund Barrage to manage the situation.
  • The water release from the barrage, typically around 352 cusecs during non-monsoon months, reached a peak of 3.59 lakh cusecs due to heavy rainfall in northwest India.

Importance of Water Release

  • Impact of Upstream Water Release: The water level in the Yamuna River in Delhi is determined by the release of water upstream from the Hathnikund Barrage.
  • Regulation of Water Flow: The barrage acts as a regulator and can only control the amount of water released downstream and to canals.
  • Flooding Concerns: Failure to release water from the upstream can lead to increased flooding in areas upstream, including Haryana.

Potential Consequences of Water Accumulation

  • Increased Flooding: Failure to regulate the water levels in the Yamuna River can result in severe flooding in Delhi and surrounding areas.
  • Infrastructure Damage: High water levels pose a risk to infrastructure, including roads, buildings, and public utilities.
  • Displacement of Residents: Excessive flooding can force people to evacuate their homes, leading to displacement and potential humanitarian challenges.

Addressing the Emergency

  • Controlled Water Release: Controlled water release from the Hathnikund Barrage can mitigate the flooding risks.
  • Collaboration and Coordination: Cooperation between Delhi and Haryana authorities, as well as with central government agencies, is essential to manage the situation effectively.
  • Monitoring and Emergency Preparedness: Continuous monitoring of water levels, timely communication, and preparedness to handle any evacuation or relief efforts are crucial during this emergency situation.


  • The unprecedented water levels in the Yamuna River in Delhi demand immediate attention and coordinated efforts to prevent further damage and protect affected communities.

Also read:

[Sansad TV] Perspective: Urban Deluge (Floods)

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