Uttarakhand Glacier Tragedy: What we know about damage caused so far
NTPC’s Tapovan hydro-electric power dam, also known as Rishi Ganga Project, and Tapovan Vishnugad project have been completely washed off following the glacier burst.
The glacier burst, after a chunk of Nanda Devi glacier broke off, triggered an avalanche and massive flooding in the Alaknanda and Dhauliganga rivers in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. More than 170 people are missing with 14 dead bodies recovered so far.
How much damage has been caused so far?
Apart from heavy loss of lives and many people still missing, the glacier burst has caused huge infra damage. NTPC’s Tapovan hydro-electric power dam, also known as Rishi Ganga Project, and Tapovan Vishnugad project have been completely washed off following the glacier burst. While the NTPC project was under construction when the disaster hit, the Rishi Ganga project had resumed generating power last June. An NTPC spokesperson said on Sunday that Several hydropower projects in the area were severely damaged by the avalanche and floods.
Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Sunday said that a motorable bridege and four other small bridge were damaged in the floods, affecting the connectivity to 13 villages. Arrangements are being made to airdrop food packets to these villages.
The two bridges at the entrance of Malari valley and near Tapovan were also damaged.
How is relief work being carried out?
The rescue operations had to be halted on Sunday night due to a rise in the water levels at the Dhauli Ganga river. However, the relief work is being carried out by a combined team of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) team, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Uttarakhand’s State Response Force (SDRF), and the Indian army. Specialized teams of the Indian Air Force and Navy’s diving team have been kept on standby for flood relief operations.
The ITBP was the first team to swing into action even before the army or air force could reach the spot. Two Indo-Tibetan Border Police teams, comprising about 200 personnel, had moved to the affected areas from Joshimath. They managed to rescue 16 people trapped in an under-construction tunnel on Sunday and are leading the rescue operations at tunnel number 1 near Tapovan hydro power project where 30 workers are still trapped.
Relief and rescue operations are underway at the affected sites.