Conspiracy theories over Delhi inundation

Many parts of the national capital, Delhi, are under siege. Unprecedented rains led the Yamuna to overflow, leading to the inundation of several areas, including the Raj Ghat and the Supreme Court.

As usual, the blame game has begun and this natural calamity is being built as a ‘conspiracy narrative’ by the well-known lying machine called Arvind Kejriwal, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener and Delhi Chief Minister, and his ‘bhajan mandali’. In my view, this ‘pack of incompetent’ and ‘ignorant’ AAP brigade and their so-called sympathizers, who include media personnel, pointing their accusing fingers at none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is nothing short of absurdity.

Had PM intervened, could he have stopped the Yamuna from swelling or overflowing? Can there be any more bizarre accusations than this? The irony is that these AAP morons and their spokespersons don’t differentiate between the barrage and dam. They allege that it was the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-headed Haryana government which was responsible for letting off all flood water from the barrage towards Delhi, to settle scores with the people (read electorate) for not voting them to power or backing their party.

Even though Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar explained that the water flow is not within their control as the barrage across Yamuna in his state has automated gates and the excess water will automatically flow into the two canals as per the gravitational force. However, on learning from some reports that five gates of Delhi’s ITO barrage got jammed, he ordered an inquiry. Yet, AAP finds fault with the Haryana government for not diverting the water into the other canal system which leads to Uttar Pradesh, instead to the one that flows into Delhi.

Moreover, if they had any sense of understanding, they could have questioned the Central Water Commission (CWC) or the irrigation officials, for the mishandling of the unforeseen flood water in Yamuna. Although one would not like to go into the factors that helped AAP to return to power with a massive mandate or why the same electorate ensured all the seven Delhi Lok Sabha seats to the BJP, how the Kejriwal government chose to push the Delhi dwellers into miseries is a case worth pondering. That too on the impending Lok Sabha polls next year!

The large-scale encroachment all along the river banks, obstructed free flow and unattended sewerage system for years by the Delhi government’s Public Works Department are apparently major factors that attributed to the flooding in the national capital. The disappearance of wetlands and the construction of 25 bridges along the Yamuna, are also considered other factors, to which the AAP government has to own up responsibility. Experts say instead of examining these factors, which might have contributed to the present flood crisis in Delhi, the excess rainfall alone cannot be blamed.

Yamuna floods Rajghat, reaches Supreme Court - The Hindu

This phenomenon prevails not just to the confines of the national capital, but across the country. The rivers bring heavy sediment load from catchments. These, coupled with an inadequate carrying capacity of rivers, are responsible for causing floods, drainage congestion, and erosion of river banks. Cyclones, cyclonic circulations, and cloud bursts cause flash floods and lead to huge losses.

Moreover, Delhi lies in the landlocked Northern Plains of the Indian Subcontinent. Its climate is greatly influenced by its proximity to the Himalayas and the Thar Desert, causing it to experience both weather extremes. Delhi has 5 distinct seasons –  Summer, Rain, Autumn, Winter and Spring. And Delhi depends on water requirements from the Yamuna, as it is on its banks, besides Ravi Beas (Bhakra storage) and the Ganga.

Till the other day, Kejriwal was crying hoarse for Haryana not releasing the required water to meet his state’s demands.

Addressing a press conference, AAP’s senior leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh and its chief spokesperson Priyanka Kakkar, said, “In case of a flood, water is released from Hathnikund towards Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Delhi in balanced quantities.

But, the BJP and CWC officials deny this. They point out that 2,480 hectares of the  Yamuna floodplain was lost since 2009. What does this mean? The successive governments, since then, whether the Congress or its successor, have to be blamed.

The state government’s failure to clear silt in the Yamuna river bed from time to time and also failure to prevent habitation solely attributes to the present mayhem. Anything over 1 lakh cusecs of flood water has to be routed through the Yamuna and not to other canals which carry water to Uttar Pradesh, simply because of the structure of the dam, which reportedly blocks the water flow due to boulders and sediments. Even for this, lack of the Hathnikund barrage maintenance by government should be blamed.

Any person with little common sense may laugh at the AAP’s allegations of a conspiracy. If Kejriwal has any IQ, he should ask his party men to stop such canards, which may only lead to further erosion of his party’s already tarnished image, with two of his senior colleagues cooling their heels in prison for the past few months without even getting bail.

That the sensible Delhi electorate should not be carried away by ‘freebies’, instead, they should vote for better civic amenities and securing their lives. Hope, they will not only continue in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, as they had been voting for the Modi-led BJP government, but also later in the assembly polls. Should they now regret for voting the AAP in Delhi municipal polls?