Dehradun: A portion of the Nanda Devi glacier broke off in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district on February 7, triggering an avalanche and deluge in the Alaknanda river system that washed away hydroelectric stations and trapped more than 200 labourers who are feared dead.
The sudden flood in the middle of the day in the Dhauli Ganga, Rishi Ganga and Alaknanda rivers, all intricately linked tributaries of the Ganga, triggered widespread panic and large scale devastation in the high mountain areas.
Two power projects, NTPC’s Tapovan – Vishnugad Hydel Project and the Rishi Ganga Hydel Project, in the state were extensively damaged with scores of labourers trapped in tunnels as the waters came rushing in.
The flash flood also washed away a 90 mtr span RCC bridge on Joshimath – Malari road located just downstream of the Rishi Ganga project and approximately 2 km upstream of the Tapowan project which was the only link to Niti border and washing away of the bridge has stranded more than 13 border villages in Uttarakhand, Chamoli district.
During this dark hour of National crisis, true to its motto “Shramena Sarvam Sadhaym” BRO has quickly swung into action for rescue and rehabilitation work by inducting more than 100 Vehicles / Equipments and plants which include about 15 Heavy Earth Moving Equipments like Hydraulic Excavators, Dozers, JCBs, Wheel Loaders etc.
BRO has also Air inducted critical equipment with the help of Indian Air Force.
Almost 200 personnel of 21 BRTF of Project Shivalik have been deployed for rescue and rehabilitation purposes.
After initial reccee, BRO has started work for re-establishing connectivity on all required fronts.
The site is very challenging due to steep cliff on far bank and 25-30 mtr high debris/ muck on the other side, however, BRO has overcome these challenges and on the 4th day has cleared and established a path for construction of bridge abutment. BRO is working round the clock to re-establish connectivity at the earliest by launching a bailey bridge of 200 feet.
BRO is also assisting ITBP & NDRF in rescue operations, several BRO teams part of Project Shivalik are deployed in the area for relief operations.