The Indian Army has rescued around 384 people and recovered eight bodies a day after a glacier burst in the Niti Valley near Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district. According to reports the rescued were working at the Border Roads Organization (BRO) camp.
The Army informed in a tweet that a BRO camp came under an avalanche during heavy snowfall on April 23. The Army added that they had to stop the rescue operations due to bad weather and blizzards last night. Today morning, the rescue operation commenced again. The Army is still trying to find more people stuck in the avalanche.
Reports suggest that around 384 labourers have been safely rescued and are at the Army camp presently. Rescue operations are still on to find others. So far, eight bodies have been recovered. Reportedly, the area is experiencing heavy rainfall and snow for the last five days. The Army also informed that access roads are cut off in several locations due to landslides. Mountaineering rescue teams and air efforts are on standby for further rescue.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat had informed in a tweet last night. “A glacier burst has been reported in Sumna, Neeti Valley. I have released an alert in this regard,” Rawat said, adding that he is in constant touch with the district administration and the BRO.
He also said that the district administration has been instructed to get full information on the matter. “For NTPC and other projects, orders have been given to stop work at night so that no untoward incident occurs,” he said, adding that Union Home Minister Amit Shah has assured full help to the state.
In February, a portion of the Nanda Devi glacier broke off near the Rishi Ganga power project, resulting in floods. This glacial burst took place at the Joshimath in Chamoli district, the same district as the glacial burst on April 23, 2021. Nearly 72 deaths were recorded and several houses were destroyed.
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 hydroelectric 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.