Jammed gates of barrage behind Delhi floods

The Haryana government has suspended a chief engineer of the Irrigation Department and issued to chargesheet to three other officers…

Jammed gates of barrage behind Delhi floods

[Representational Photo : iStock]

The Haryana government has suspended a chief engineer of the Irrigation Department and issued to chargesheet to three other officers for ‘dereliction of duty’ on the basis of a probe into the jammed gates of the ITO barrage in Delhi during the floods caused by excessive water level in Yamuna river passing through Haryana region.

The action has been taken against these officers after a report of an inquiry committee. The committee was formed to investigate the non-opening of four gates of the ITO Yamuna barrage during floods. The barrage at ITO is owned, operated and maintained by the Haryana government.

While Chief Engineer Sandeep Taneja has been suspended, orders have been issued to chargesheet superintending engineer (SE) Tarun Aggarwal, executive engineer (XEN) Manoj Kumar of the department. This apart, sub divisional officer (SDO) Mukesh Verma, posted at Yamuna Barrage, has been chargesheeted.


An official spokesperson said due to heavy rains, a significant surge in Yamuna level was witnessed and due to non-opening of four gates of the barrage near ITO in Delhi, excess water could not be cleared in time causing massive waterlogging and floods.

Following this, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had formed a three-member committee to investigate the entire matter. The Irrigation Department’s engineer-in-chief Satbir Kadian and chief engineer Suresh Kumar Yadav were included as members in this committee headed by engineer-in-chief, Rakesh Chauhan.

In its report, the committee observed that “these gates were submerged in flood water about 12 feet deep” and were also filled with silt.

“These gates can be opened only when both upstream and downstream silt around these gates is removed through special techniques. It has been stated in the report that no record has been kept in barrage gate operation after 2020 and gauge register is not maintained even in monsoon,” the spokesperson said.

The report said officers looking after the management at the ITO barrage did not organise any meeting before the monsoon to review the flood management situation, nor the information regarding the situation was ensured to the headquarters.

It said last year also, the Irrigation and Flood Control Department, Delhi vide its letter dated 6 July 2022 had informed about the negligence regarding the closing of the gate of the Yamuna (ITO) barrage. It said no power connection was available to carry out the process.

“Floods in Delhi mainly occurred due to excessive encroachment, due to which the water reached up to the Ring Road. Excessive and unplanned construction around the river is obstructing the flow of Yamuna,” the report said.

The report, however, said during the dry season the flow of the river stops completely and release of polluted water into the river through various drains leads to the accumulation of silt and rise in the river bed levels.

“In such a situation, the Delhi government should remove the heavy silt in front of gate number 28 to 32 so that flood water can flow through these gates. The Yamuna’s natural flood outlets have been systematically encroached upon for decades,” it said.