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Uttarakhand High Court directs government to clear artificial lake near Gaumukh

The formation of the lake came to light after a team of scientists from the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology visited the Gaumukh in July.

dehradun Updated: Dec 13, 2017 19:34 IST
Kamal Jagati
Kamal Jagati
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand news,Gaumukh,Artificial lake
The lake took shape after a 30m high pile of debris collected at the mouth of the stream due to the flood. The lake at present is 4m deep.(HT FILE)

DEHRADUN

The Uttarakhand High Court on Wednesday directed the state government and the Centre to take steps to clear an artificial lake that is forming at the mouth of the Gaumukh glacier, the origin of the Ganga.

The double bench of Chief Justice KM Joseph and Justice VK Bisht while hearing a petition of Delhi-based Acharya Ajay Gautam’s suggestion seeking help from the Indian Space and Research Organisation and the National Disaster and Relief Force, to clear the lake.

Gautam in a public interest petition filed before the court, highlighted the formation of an artificial lake and said if the lake is not cleared, it can prove disastrous if it bursts like the Chaurabari Lake that was above the Kedarnath shrine.

A large volume of water collected in the Chaurabari Lake devastated the Kedarnath valley during the in 2013 flash flood, killing more than 5,000 people.

“A lake in the mouth of the Gangotri glacier is showing signs of a Kedarnath-like disaster like,” the petition said.

“If the lake forms further as per predictions, its size will become four times bigger than the lake that used to exist at the Chaurabari glacier, which had caused the Kedarnath disaster,” it said.

The formation of the lake came to light after a team of scientists from the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology visited the Gaumukh in July.

The team led by PS Negi, senior scientist of the institute, said the lake had started forming at Gaumukh after the floods.

The lake took shape after a 30m high pile of debris collected at the mouth of the stream due to the flood. The lake at present is 4m deep.

Due to the presence of the lake, the stream, which earlier used to flow straight, has now shifted course and has started flowing from the right.

First Published: Dec 13, 2017 19:34 IST