Swollen by rain, Uttarakhand rivers flow near danger mark, Badrinath highway closed
The Ganga and the Alaknanda rivers were flowing close to the danger mark in Haridwar, Rishikkesh and Srinagar while landslides disrupted road transport in many places in Uttarakhand.
Incessant rain since Saturday night has led to many rivers in Uttarakhand flowing near the danger mark while landslides and cave ins have been reported across the state on Tuesday, officials said.
The Ganga river was flowing near the danger mark in Haridwar and Rishikesh, while the Alaknanda was flowing near the danger mark in Srinagar.
The Karnprayag-Badrinath national highway was blocked at many places including Maithana, Bajpur, Nirmal Palace, Chhinka, Kshetrapal, Bhanerpani, Pagalnala, Lambagad, as heavy rain triggered landslides.
In Chamoli district, 32 rural motor roads were blocked till Tuesday afternoon as debris fell and the work was underway to reopen the routes.
In Bairangna area of Chamoli district, a wall of the fisheries department caved in due to overnight rain leading to the death of about one quintal of fish.
Three cowsheds in Sirokhoma village of Chamoli district were damaged while electricity and drinking water supply were disrupted at many places in the district. Police kiosks near the Chamoli bus station, warehouse and electrical pole of a shop were also damaged in a minor landslide on Tuesday.
After continuous rain on Monday, a 50-metre stretch of the Dehradun-Mussoorie highway caved in, blocking the movement of vehicles. However, small vehicles were allowed to move on Tuesday. Work was underway to open the vital road at the earliest.
Meanwhile chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat met a delegation from the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on Tuesday.
The delegation included NMDA member Rajendra Singh, joint secretary Ramesh Kumar and joint advisor Naval Prakash.
Discussing issues of natural disasters in the Himalayan state, Rawat said that in mountainous regions like Uttarakhand, natural disasters like forest fire and landslides cause more damage.
“Providing relief to remote areas is a major challenge. For this, training is being done by the state government for the relief and rescue work in the event of a disaster. This includes training like providing first aid to the injured. I request the delegation to include training such as Trauma Training (first aid) in the ‘Disaster Mitra’ training program run by NDMA,” said Rawat.
He further said that most plans and guidelines made for disaster management have been made according to the plain areas.
“But the nature and impact of natural calamities in the mountainous regions is different from that of the plains, so while making guidelines, plans should be included as per the mountainous regions. Most of the houses in the mountainous areas are made of mud,” he said.
“According to the current guidelines, such houses are called kachcha houses, due to which the disaster affected people get very little financial help. Such houses should be classified as pucca houses in mountainous areas,” said the chief minister.
Singh said that shelters are being made in various states by the NDMA along with preparing ‘Disaster Mitras’ across the country. In Uttarakhand, training is being given to people from Haridwar and US Nagar districts as part of the ‘Disaster Mitra’ initiative.
“If the state government provides land, then in each district of Uttarakhand, shelters can be made to accommodate 3,000-5,000 people affected by a disaster,” said Singh.
The chief minister said that such shelters will prove to be very helpful in providing relief to the disaster affected and for this, all possible assistance will be provided by the state government.