The Yamuna River is flowing as it did in 1823 following its old course and causing destruction along its way.
Yamuna changed its course to the east due to a shift in the slope of the earth’s crust caused by plate tectonics. However, much of the destruction is attributed to no major dams along its course, a bad drainage system, encroachments, and many other factors, given below.
A netizen tweeted, Yes, a river’s floodplain is sacrosanct. Unfortunately, to the majority of policymakers, media, engineers, and bureaucrats, even the term is unfamiliar. No society is as unscientific n selfish as ours.
Harsh Vats tweeted, “A river never forgets! Even after decades and centuries pass, the river would come back to recapture its borders. Yamuna reclaims it’s floodplain. #Yamuna #DelhiFloods”
— Harsh Vats (@HarshVatsa7) July 13, 2023
Manish Shaw writes, “Same happened in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh highway this week as well. It’s said Beas River reclaimed her path after nearly 2 decades.
Why is the Yamuna Flooding?
- Heavy Monsoon Rainfall: During the monsoon season, Delhi and its surrounding areas receive significant rainfall. The catchment area of the Yamuna River, including its tributaries, receives a large volume of water, which ultimately flows into the river. If the rainfall is excessive or prolonged, it can lead to a rapid rise in the water level of the Yamuna, resulting in flooding.
- Inadequate Drainage Infrastructure: Delhi’s drainage system is not always equipped to handle the high volume of water during heavy rainfall. The stormwater drains and canals may get overwhelmed, leading to waterlogging and flooding in low-lying areas near the Yamuna River.
- Encroachments and Reduced Floodplain: Over the years, there has been encroachment on the floodplains of the Yamuna River, especially in unauthorized settlements and construction activities. This reduces the natural capacity of the floodplain to absorb excess water during heavy rainfall, exacerbating the flooding situation.
- Upstream Water Releases: The release of excess water from upstream barrages, such as the Hathnikund barrage in Haryana, can also contribute to flooding downstream in Delhi. When these barrages release water to maintain their storage capacity or due to heavy rainfall in their catchment areas, it increases the water level of the Yamuna River as it flows through Delhi.
- The Yamuna River in northern India has two major barrages, Dakpathar in Uttarakhand and Hathnikund in Haryana, which are located upstream of Delhi. These barrages help regulate the flow of the river and are important for managing water resources in the region.
- The Yamuna River does not have any major dams along its course. Consequently, during the monsoon season, when the river receives a significant amount of water, a considerable portion of the flow remains unutilized. This can lead to flooding in certain areas along the river’s path.
Nearly 57 million people depend on the Yamuna’s waters, and the river accounts for more than 70 percent of Delhi’s water supply. It has an annual flow of 97 billion cubic metres, and nearly 4 billion cubic metres are consumed every year (of which irrigation constitutes 96%).
It would be important to improve water management and utilization of the Yamuna River, including implementing projects for water storage and irrigation. The government needs to optimize water resources and reduce the risks associated with floods and water scarcity in the region.
This is a way nature desperate signate to humans…Nature has the power to cross all manmade boundaries and recreate history. One should never mess with nature, it will not forget, it will not forgive.