In Noida, the Yamuna river level has dropped below the danger limit, but rescue efforts continue.
Over the weekend, the district administration and police personnel of Noida continued their rescue operations as several cattle remained trapped in the flooded areas of the Yamuna River’s floodplains in Noida. Fortunately, the water level in the Yamuna River started receding, dropping below the danger mark that it had breached a few days earlier. As of Saturday, the river level at Okhla Barrage in Noida was recorded at 200.00 metres, while the danger mark stood at 200.60 metres.
Previously, on Thursday, the Yamuna River had surpassed the danger mark in Noida, reaching a level of 200.75 metres. By Friday, the water level had decreased by 15 centimetres but remained at the danger mark of 200.60 metres. On Saturday, the level further dropped to 200.20 metres at 11 a.m. and eventually reached 200.00 metres by 5 p.m.
BK Singh, executive engineer of the headworks division at Agra Canal-Okhla in the irrigation department, expressed relief at the decreasing water level. He mentioned that the water flow from Haryana’s Hathnikund Barrage had been halted on Thursday, and now they were witnessing the effects of that decision as the river level continued to recede. Singh expressed optimism that the water level would further decrease in the coming days. The volume of river discharge at 5 p.m. on Saturday was recorded at 2.83 lahks (283,000) cusecs, indicating a decrease of 82,000 cusecs from Friday.
The irrigation department, responsible for the embankment along the 77.5-kilometre stretch in Gautam Budh Nagar, was taking preventive measures to avoid any breaches in the district. With the Indian Meteorological Department forecasting a partly cloudy sky with occasional rain or thundershowers for the next three days in Gautam Budh Nagar, it was important to remain vigilant and continue monitoring the situation.
Simultaneously, the district administration and police personnel remained dedicated to their rescue efforts on Saturday, particularly focusing on rescuing cattle trapped in the flooded areas of the floodplains. Atul Kumar, additional district magistrate and nodal officer for relief and rescue efforts, highlighted the use of drone cameras to monitor the flooded areas. Most people had already been evacuated, but the challenge now was to rescue the cattle stuck in the inundated cowsheds on the floodplains. The police, fire department, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) teams were working together to prevent any loss of life.
On Friday evening, the administration demonstrated commendable efforts by successfully evacuating 3,610 individuals from flood-affected areas across the district. These individuals were safely transported to 13 shelter homes in Noida, where their well-being was a top priority. Under the administration’s watchful eye, the shelter homes ensured cleanliness, organised medical camps, and provided ample provisions of food to cater to the needs of the evacuees.
In a remarkable display of solidarity and humanitarian spirit, the local police in Greater Noida surpassed their jurisdictional boundaries to rescue women, children, and senior citizens who were trapped in flood-affected areas. Collaborating with the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), the local police conducted a successful rescue operation, saving 39 individuals who were stranded near Palaka in the Greater Noida zone and Jhuppa, which falls under Palwal district in Haryana. This act of bravery exemplifies the commitment of these law enforcement personnel to protect and serve their community, regardless of administrative boundaries.
Not only were human lives saved, but the rescuers also showed compassion towards animals. Valuable cattle, confined in private cowsheds in Sector 135 Noida, were stuck due to the flooding. Recognising the urgency of the situation, the caretakers of these cowsheds promptly contacted the flood control helpline, triggering the dispatch of a rescue team. The dedicated team managed to save several precious breeds, including the renowned Dheer breed of buffalo and approximately ten Gir breed cows, which are highly sought after for their superior milk production nationwide.
As the rescue operations continued and the water levels gradually receded, it became crucial for the authorities to remain vigilant and proactive in ensuring the safety of all affected individuals, both humans and animals alike. This entailed fostering continued coordination among the various agencies and departments involved in the relief efforts.
By working hand in hand, these entities could maximise their impact and effectively mitigate the consequences of flooding. Additionally, public awareness and preparedness played pivotal roles in minimising the risks associated with such calamities. By disseminating relevant information and promoting preventive measures, the authorities sought to empower the public, enabling them to make informed decisions and safeguard themselves and their communities.
Moving forward, the recovery process necessitates a comprehensive approach that extends beyond immediate relief efforts. Reconstruction, rehabilitation, and long-term support would be crucial in helping the affected individuals and communities rebuild their lives. The administration, along with relevant stakeholders, would need to devise strategic plans to address the post-flood challenges, including infrastructure repair, livelihood restoration, and psychological support for those who had experienced trauma.
In conclusion, the combined efforts of the administration, local police, SDRF, and other agencies involved in the rescue operations deserve high praise in Noida. Their selfless dedication and prompt response undoubtedly saved lives and brought solace to many affected individuals. However, it is important to recognise that the recovery process is ongoing, requiring sustained commitment, coordination, and community engagement. By learning from this experience and implementing the lessons gained, the region can strengthen its resilience against future flooding events and better protect the well-being of its people and animals.