1. Details of incident : -
On 07.02.2021 at about 1000 hours an avalanche has occurred in the upper catchment of Rishiganga river, a tributary of Alaknanda river in Chamoli District of Uttarakhand, which led to sudden rise in the water level of Rishiganga River. Due to flash flood on account of rising of water levels in the river Rishiganga, a functional Rishiganga small hydro project of 13.2 MW was washed away. The flash flood also affected the under construction 520 MW NTPC Hydro Power Project downstream at Tapovan on the river Dhauli Ganga.
2. Initial Damage reported: -
As per information received from Government of Uttarakhand, out of total 204 missing persons, dead bodies of 77 persons (including 16 dead bodies from Tapowan Tunnel) have been recovered so far and 127 persons are still missing. State Government has announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 4 lakh each for the next of kin of those who have lost their lives due to the incident.
3. Current Situation:-
i. The search & rescue operation is going on at Raini and Lata village area and NTPC project Tapowan, by NDRF, SDRF and local administration.
ii. Muck removal work completed up to length of 211 mtr in the Intake portal of SFT tunnel NTPC project. Excavation and muck removal work is on progress in silt flushing tunnel (SFT) Adit. Dewatering pumps are running continuously.
iii. Excavation and muck removal work in SFT Adit is continuously going on and cleared up to 51 M from SFT Portal.
iv. An artificial lake was formed in the upper ridge of Rishiganga River. The water flowing through the channel formed at the mouth of the lake widened to approx 60 feet and the channel is being constantly monitor.
v. Team of Snow & Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE), National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Geographical survey of India and Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG) are providing all necessary technical assistance including satellite images at regular intervals.
vi. Intercom communication established inside the tunnel.
vii. Satellite communication system established between rescue site and control room at Raini village for surveillance of river water level.
viii. An alarm and Hooter system has been installed and made operational for early warning system.
ix. Medical camp and Public Information Centre are operational.
x. On 24.02.2021 the depth measurement of artificial lake at multiple location was completed successfully by deep divers of Indian Navy. The depth of the lake measured approx. 46 Meters in the middle of the lake with gradual reduction towards the inflow point. The team observed that the rate of outflow is higher than that of the inflow and the water level in the lake is gradually reducing.
xi. Construction work of completely damaged motor bridge at joshimath to malhari axis completed by BRO on 05.03.2021.