An SDRF team widening the channel of a glacial lake in Uttarakhand to increase the discharge of water from it on Wednesday.(SDRF)
An SDRF team widening the channel of a glacial lake in Uttarakhand to increase the discharge of water from it on Wednesday.(SDRF)

Expert team widens mouth of lake formed upstream Rishiganga for faster drainage

  • An expert team is trying to drain out the lake to prevent another tragedy like the Chamoli flash flood.
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 09:39 PM IST

The expert team which was sent to the lake formed upstream Rishiganga river in Uttarakhand's Chamoli district has succeeded in widening the mouth of the lake from 35 ft to around 50 ft on Wednesday, following which the lake water has started draining out at a faster speed, the State Disaster Response Force said.


The team of around 30 comprises scientists, SDRF and ITBP personnel and porters.

“In a daring effort, the team has widened the mouth of the lake in a very difficult terrain which has increased the discharge from the lake. Due to this, the chances of lake burst or Chamoli-like tragedy happening again has been averted. Our team members are still camping there to try to widen the mouth further”, SDRF Commandant Navneet Bhullar said.

"The team is also trying to increase the depth of the widened channel by about one to one and a half feet near the opening which will further speed up the discharge of water."

He also said that the special communication equipment - quick deployable antenna (QDA) - based on satellite communication has been set up at the site which is helping in communicating with the expert team in real time.

The expert team, which left for the lake area on Friday and reached there on Saturday, had analysed the lake to find out ways to drain it so that it doesn’t breach in future and lead to a tragedy like the Chamoli flash flood of February 7.

Meanwhile, the rescuers involved in the search and rescue operation in the Chamoli disaster recovered one more body on Wednesday taking the death toll to 71 with 133 still missing.

SDRF spokesperson Praveen Alok, said, "The body was found from the Alaknanda river near the disaster site in Chamoli. Meanwhile, the rescue workers have cleared slush up to a distance of about 184 metres in the 1.7km long tunnel at the NTPC hydel power project in Tapovan."

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