'Cause of Chamoli glacier tragedy to be studied by experts': Uttarakhand CM
Rawat said he conducted an aerial survey of the area and later visited Raini village by road to take stock of the situation.
Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said the cause of the tragedy in Chamoli will be studied by experts. The chief minister said that at present the state government is focussed on saving the lives of people. A glacier burst in Uttarakhand's Chamoli district caused a massive flooding in the Dhauli Ganga river.
“When I was going to attend a function in the morning around 11.20 am, I came to know through social media that a tragedy had struck in Chamoli,” Rawat said.
“I immediately called the district administration to confirm. I came to know that due to glacier breaking, a tragedy had struck. There are two parts of Raini village, one on this side of the river and the other on another,” he added.
Rawat said the Rishiganga dam project is located near this village which was commissioned in 2020 with 35 workers engaged there and four cops posted for security. “Two were on leave and two were there and are now missing. Around 30 workers working on the project are also missing”.
CM Rawat said around 5 kilometres downstream at the NTPC’s under-construction hydel power project at Tapovan, around 176 workers were working. “There are two tunnels there. Around 15 people were deployed on one tunnel while around 30 to 35 workers were working on the other. 35 to 45 came back and were rescued, one is injured. The rescue work is being carried out with much difficulty with ropes and digging of the muck that has filled the tunnels. No contact could be made with the trapped workers inside the tunnel. Seven bodies have been recovered so far,” he added.
Rawat said he conducted the aerial survey of the area and later visited Raini village by road to take stock of the situation. “One main bridge and 4 small other bridges were damaged, cutting off the right side of the Raini village and 11 other village
He said Army’s three helicopters and one of Indian Airforce have reached the affected areas. “Our choppers are also engaged and ready for rescue and relief operations," he said.
The chief minister said PM Modi called him and assured him of all possible help. He said the Centre will provide all possible help to the state. “Home minister Amit Shah and President of India also called and expressed concern and spoke about all possible cooperation,” he said.
Rawat also announced compensation of ₹4 lakh each to the kin of those who lost their lived in the tragedy.
“We have made all arrangements for rescue and relief operations and providing healthcare facilities to the affected people,” he said.
Rawat said water has cleaned up close to Chamoli town and the situation concerning water level has almost stabilised. “We had removed water from Srinagar Dam so that there is no risk. The railway project was stopped and an alert was sounded all along the river downstream. River rafting has been stopped up to Haridwar,” he said.