The Meteorological Department has sounded a red alert for Lucknow, Barabanki, Gonda, Lakhimpur Kheri, Hardoi, and Sitapur and an orange alert for Bijnor, Moradabad, Rampur, and the surrounding areas.
Strong winds, heavy rains and thunder. While this may sound just the ideal Sunday morning for many Delhiites, there were scores in Delhi who wouldn’t agree.
No doubt, the sudden drop of temperature to 29 degrees centigrade has brought a huge respite to many struggling with the heat, but it has left at least one person dead presumably by drowning, houses swept away and Centralised Accident and Trauma Services (CATS) teams being deployed. For many in Delhi, it wasn’t a Sunday, they were hoping for.
While reports of two deaths have come in, police have just confirmed one whose body was found floating near Delhi’s Minto bridge. The entire area was submerged and the dead man, who is identified as Kundan, is believed to have drowned.
“Water was logged under the Minto bridge because of overnight rains. He tried to manoeuvre his vehicle through a waterlogged underpass, but, apparently, couldn’t succeed. He, it seems, died of drowning. No external injury marks on his person. Inquest proceedings u/s 174 CrPC are underway,” said a senior Delhi Police officer.
Not very far from where Kundan lost his life, a slum was battered in Delhi’s ITO. In fact, dramatic visuals show how a house there crumbles like a pack of cards as eyewitnesses shout to alert the inhabitants to flee. It resulted due to a canal overflowing that weakened the base of the house in the slum. The house eventually was washed away.
CATS and Delhi Fire Service were pressed into action to help people of Anna Nagar. Meanwhile, a senior Delhi Police official confirmed, “We are aware that few houses were washed away. However, there has been no casualty reported from there.”
The Indian Meteorological Department said that Delhi’s Safdarjung, Lodhi Road and Ridge area received particularly heavy rainfall with 74.8 mm, 81.2 mm and 86 mm rainfall respectively. “These three stations witnessed heavy rainfall, in the morning hours between 5 am to 8.30 am,” Kuldeep Srivastava, head of IMD’s regional forecasting centre told IANS.
ITO, the nucleus of the capital’s workforce has not just been infamous for its hours-long traffic snarls but chronic drainage problems, for decades now. Not far from the area, a DTC bus was submerged in the water under Minto bridge.
It was not just the Minto road and ITO area but large swathes of south Delhi roads were waterlogged. Lodhi Road, Defence Colony, Safdurjung, Jor Bagh, Ashram, and Modi Mill area saw knee deep water. Barakhamba Rao in central Delhi saw massive waterlogging, particularly under Ranjeet Singh flyover. Commuters who came out for a drive had a really tough time returning home, wading through the water.
Commuters complained that the area before and after all bridges in south Delhi wore a submerged look, with many two wheelers parked under the bridges and waiting for the water level to subside.
The Delhi Traffic Police, meanwhile alerted about traffic disruptions near Tilak Nagar Metro Station, Prashant Vihar, near the Oberoi Hotel, Bhairon Road among other areas. Some trees too were uprooted due to gusty winds, adding to the trouble of the traffic department. A tree fell near DDU Hospital and Max Mueller Bhawan.
Meanwhile, Srivastava told IANS that on Monday morning the capital may see light showers, while the day after it may experience moderate showers.
Not very surprisingly, politics has started to take over amid all this death and destruction. But away from it, there were only two realities of the national capital today – those who enjoyed it with a sip of tea and snacks and those who were grieving the loss of properties, and even lives.