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“Lessons Are Higher Up”: Delhi Minister On Flood Crisis— News Online (

Atishi said the excess rain was a sign of climate change.

New Delhi:

As the Yamuna River flowing through Delhi showed scant signs of a retreat after swallowing up large swathes of the city in a monsoon flood, officials are expressing grave concerns over the escalating situation, its far-reaching implications and a potential repeat.

“We’re going to see more of this,” cautioned Delhi Minister Atishi during an interview on Friday with NDTV. “This is climate change,” she stressed, emphasizing that the severity and frequency of such situations are set to increase.

The river has reached a record width of 208.66 meters, surpassing the previous high of 207.49 meters in 1978. Flooding and landslides, already common during India’s monsoon season, are causing widespread devastation, with climate change seen as a factor amplifying their impact.

Brushing aside allegations of not prioritising a comprehensive drainage system for the city of more than 2 crore people, Atishi denied charges the underlying reasons for the current crisis were rooted in mismanagement and laxity by the city government.

“The lessons are higher up,” she said, appearing to point the finger at states like Haryana which have had to release excess water following torrential rain upstream and a stronger focus on combating climate change. She underscored the need for an understanding of weather patterns and river flow, and that solutions need to be sought for entire river basins.

Despite local measures taken to evacuate people and protect the city, Atishi pointed out that the flooding was not due to local rain but the consequence of heavy rainfall upstream. “This kind of excessive rainfall has definitely come because of climate change,” she said.

Amid the crisis, the immediate concern after the floodwaters recede is a potential health emergency. “Diseases will be the next big worry,” the Delhi minister warned, citing the prevalence of waterborne diseases after flooding.

In response to this threat, Atishi said that their priorities would be cleaning up the streets and focusing on health, hygiene, and sanitation. Authorities are also preparing a plan to make people aware of diseases like cholera and typhoid, which often occur after floods, she said.



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