Three years on, flood in mini Tibet

Overflowing Yamuna river floods many homes at the Tibetan camp in Majnu Ka Tilla, Delhi,

Overflowing Yamuna river floods many homes at the Tibetan camp in Majnu Ka Tilla, Delhi, after water level touched 207.12 metres on 19 June 2013. The water level in the Yamuna river rose to 207.12 metres, which is 2.29 metres above the danger mark of 204.83 metres. Tibet Sun

By Ambika Pandit | TNN

NEW DELHI, India, 20 June 2013

The normally bustling market with flavours of Tibet in the air wore a dark and dank look on Wednesday as the Yamuna’s waters flooded many homes in the Tibetan refugee colony at Majnu Ka Tilla, Ring Road. But families held on to their homes hoping that the river would recede soon.

The road along the river and the lanes leading into the colony from the bank were submerged. Frantic residents were seen pulling out furniture, bedding, clothes and valuables from flooded rooms to higher floors. Memories of the 2010 floods came alive as the investments made by the community to keep the water out failed. With no electricity and only a little water saved in tanks, the families watched the river helplessly from their terraces.

Tenzin Namdol, a college student, closely watched the water rise. Her house was a few feet away from the water. While her neighbours rushed to higher floors as the ground floor was already knee-deep in water, Tenzin and her mother held on to the hope that the river would stop rising and spare their house. The colourful market for Tibetan handicrafts and food bore a deserted look. Some had even shut shop and gone to help others pull out household items.

In the midst of all this shifting, women and men come out to share fears that the river water had brought snakes to the colony. Some people shrieked as a snake was pulled out by a resident from the water. They watched horrified and children gathered for a closer look. The excitement was short-lived as someone noticed that the water had risen further.

When TOI visited the colony on Tuesday, the residents living along the riverside were patient and fearless about the rising water. They believed that the water level would not rise to take over their homes like before as they had reinforced their buildings. But the efforts seemed to have had no impact on Wednesday.

The colony famous for being a mini-Tibet showcasing the native culture at its best is in news every monsoon. Located on the edge of the Yamuna, it is flooded every time the river rises. In the flood of 2010 many houses here were filled with water and people had to move to the upper floors.

Copyright © 2013 Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd Published in The Times of India Posted in Features » Tags: , , ,