Sometimes, when these rivers are in spate due to excessive rains, they cause misery to the people. They overflow their banks and destroy whatever comes in their way. Villages are washed away resulting in the death of men and cattle.
Standing crops are damaged. Though big dams have been built in our country to check the menace of floods yet it has not been possible to solve this problem. A flood is a natural calamity. Every year some part or the other of our country is affected by floods. In fact, people have become used to it. A few years back, Delhi had widespread rains. The water in the Yamuna River started rising within a few days. Its water-level crossed the danger mark.
The authorities gave advance warning to the people living in low-lying areas. One night, the river crossed its embankments and entered the villages. It was flowing in great fury.
Low-lying areas turned into lakes. Villagers started shifting to safer places along with their belongings. But as the current of the water was very strong and swift, many old people and cattle were carried away by the surging waters at certain places. A number of human corpses and carcasses of animals were seen floating in the water. The Delhi Administration had done its duty.
It had given timely warning of the impending flood to the people living near the banks of the Yamuna River. Despite this clear warning, people stuck to their places. They did not shift to safer places. They woke up to the danger only when the flood water entered their villages. Then they took shelter in the tents pitched by the authorities all along the railway line.
Some people were also accommodated in the school buildings of the city. The flood in the Yamuna caused great havoc. A number of houses especially those made of mud collapsed. Standing crops were destroyed. A few villages were completely cut off as they were surrounded by the Yamuna water.
Many people took shelter under the trees. They had to remain there without water and food for nearly two days. After two days, the water began to subside. However, it took a few days more before the water in villages could be pumped out. This flood caused great loss of life and property.
A number of voluntary organisations came forward to help the people in distress. They raised funds for this purpose. They distributed free food and clothes to the affected people. Various schools and colleges also organised relief works. The Red Cross Organisation sent out medical teams to provide medical assistance.
The Prime Minister gave substantial financial assistance from the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund to enable the farmers to build up their houses again. Floods and other natural calamities cause great loss of life and property year after year. It is high time that the Government should find a permanent solution to this problem.