Till now nearly 11 bodies have been recovered after a glacial burst in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand leading to an avalanche. Around 32 people from the first tunnel and 121 from the second tunnel are still missing and rescue operations are underway to recover those still trapped in the tunnel.
The glacier burst happened on Sunday at the Rishi Ganga power project after a part of the Nanda Devi glacier broke off in Tapovan area of Joshimath in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced Rs 2 lakh ex-gratia for families of the deceased and 50,000 for those seriously injured in the incident.
While reacting to the incident, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said that he was ‘deeply saddened’ by the loss of lives. He further added that the UN is ready to contribute to the ongoing rescue and assistance efforts, if necessary.
According to reports, an early survey of the damage caused revealed that Uttarakhand’s Tapovan Vishnugad hydropower plant has been “completely washed off.” The 520 MW Tapovan hydro-electric project was constructed at a cost of nearly Rs 3,000 crore.
Meanwhile, nearly two years ago, the residents of Raini village had informed Uttarakhand High Court that the construction of the Rishi Ganga hydel power project could cause huge damage to them. In 2019, the villagers had filed a PIL in HC, which they directed the state government to check the construction work happening in Raini village of Chamoli. Later, the Court had issued orders, but nothing much was done by the government.