Medical assistance being provided to 13 villages cut off due to Uttarakhand glacier incident: Shah

Medical assistance being provided to 13 villages cut off due to Uttarakhand glacier incident Shah

NEW DELHI: Necessary supplies and medical assistance is being provided through helicopters to 13 villages in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district that have been cut off due to the glacier burst incident, Union Minister Amit Shah informed on Tuesday.

“Due to the washing away of one bridge,13 villages around the place of the incident have been cut off. In these villages necessary supplies and medical assistance are being provided through helicopters,” the Home Minister said while addressing the Rajya Sabha.
Shah further informed that electricity has been restored in almost all the affected areas and restoration work of five completely damaged bridges has been initiated by the Public Works Department (PWD) and the Border Roads Organisation (BRO).

“Rescue operations are underway to evacuate approximately 25-35 persons who are suspected to be trapped in a tunnel of the NTPC project and an ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh each for the next of kin of those who have lost their lives due to the incident has been announced by the state government. The state government has reported that there is no danger of downstream flooding and the rise in water level has been contained,” he informed.

Speaking about action taken by the Centre, Shah said, “The situation is being monitored 24×7 by both control rooms of the Ministry of Home Affairs all possible help is being provided to the State. The Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Power has visited the incident site and supervised the rescue and relief work.”

He added that a total of 450 jawans of ITBP, five teams of NDRF, eight teams of Indian Army, a Navy team and five helicopters of the Indian Air Force (IAF) are engaged in search and rescue operation, along with the DRDO, and all the staff of the Central Water Commission deployed in Alaknanda and Ganga Basin up to Haridwar are on alert.

On the part of the state, Shah informed that the district administration, police and disaster management departments have been working for rescue and relief work. “Two teams of the SDRF, seven medical teams with eight ambulances of the State Health Department along with the Chief Medical Officer and five helicopters have been deployed.”

Giving an overview of the incident, the Home Minister informed that around 10 am on February 7, an avalanche occurred in the upper catchment of the Rishiganga river, a tributary of Alaknanda riven in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district, leading to the sudden rise in the water level of the River.

Due to flash flood on account of the rising water levels, a small functional Rishiganga hydro project of 13.2 MW was washed away. The flash flood also affected the under-construction 520 MW NTPC Hydro PowerProject downstream at Tapovan on the river Dhauli Ganga.

“It is observed from the satellite data (Planet Lab) on February 7, in the catchment of Rishi Ganga river at the terminus of the glacier at an altitude of 5,600m a landslide triggered a snow avalanche covering an area of approximately 14 sq km and caused a flash flood in the downstream of Rishi Ganga river,” he added.

In the financial year 2020-21, Rs 1,040 crore has been allocated to Uttarakhand under the State Disaster Risk Management Fund (SDRMF), he said, adding that the first instalment of the central share amounting to Rs 468.50 crore has been released to the state government.” (ANI) 

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