National Crisis Management Committee takes stock of glacial burst in Uttarakhand
New Delhi, February 7, 2021
The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) under the chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba met today to review the situation arising out of the natural disaster in Uttarakhand caused by a glacial burst.
The glacial burst led to the rising of water levels in the river Rishiganga, which washed away the Rishiganga small hydro project of 13.2 MW. The flash flood also affected the downstream hydro project of NTPC at Tapovan on the river Dhauliganga, a tributary of the river Alaknanda.
Gauba directed the concerned agencies to work in close co-ordination and extend all requisite assistance to the State administration. He emphasized the need to account for all missing persons and ensure that those trapped in the tunnel are rescued at the earliest. He directed that surveillance should be maintained till rescue efforts are completed and the situation returns to normal.
Uttarakhand Chief Secretary briefed the committee through video conference on the ground situation as well as the action taken by them after the incident to evacuate people and to contain the damage caused by the flooding due to the glacial burst.
However, there was no danger of downstream flooding and the rise in water level has been contained, as per the information given by the Central Water Commission (CWC). There was also no threat to the neighbouring villages. At the same time, the concerned agencies of the Centre and the State were asked to keep a strict vigil on the situation and a team from DRDO, which monitors avalanches, was being flown in for surveillance and reconnaissance. MD, NTPC has been asked to reach the affected site immediately.
Around 12 persons trapped in a tunnel have been rescued by the ITBP while efforts were on to rescue others trapped in another tunnel, which is being coordinated by the Army and ITBP. All out efforts were being made to ensure that all missing people were traced and accounted for.
Two teams of NDRF were on the way and three additional teams have been flown in from Hindon which will reach the spot later in the night. More than 200 ITBP personnel were on the spot and one column and Engineering Task Force (ETF) of the Army, with all the rescue equipment, have been deployed. Navy divers were being flown in and aircraft/helicopters of the Indian Air Force (IAF) were on standby. IMD informed during the meeting that there was no rainfall warning in the region for the next two days.
The meeting was attended by Union Home Secretary, Secretary of the Ministry of Power, DG ITBP, Chief IDS, Members of NDMA, DG NDRF, Chairman CWC, DG IMD and Chairman DRDO, along with other senior officers. Chief Secretary, Uttarakhand joined the meeting with his team of officers.