BJP MP raises issue to study glaciers to manage disaster

In the aftermath of the Chamoli disaster in Uttarakhand, BJP MP Anil Baluni on Wednesday in Rajya Sabha raised the need for a mechanism to study glaciers to manage and prevent future disasters.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday told Parliament that a landslide triggered an avalanche leading to the tragic incident that left several dead and many missing.

Shah said it affected approximately 14 square km area and caused a flash flood in the Rishiganga river downstream.

The incident was observed from the satellite data (Planet Lab) of February 7, in catchment area of Rishiganga river at the terminus of the glacier at an altitude of 5,600 metres, Shah told the House.

Speaking in the Rajya Sabha on the tragedy that occurred around 10 a.m. on Sunday, Shah had said the avalanche hit the upper catchment of Rishiganga river, a tributary of Alaknanda river in Chamoli, leading to a sudden rise in the water levels of the river.

On account of the sudden rise of water levels in the Rishiganga, Shah said, a functional Rishiganga small hydro project of 13.2 megawatt was swept away.

“The flash floods also affected the under construction 520-megawatt NTPC Hydro Power Project downstream at Tapovan on the river Dhauliganga,” Shah further said.

Citing information shared by Uttarakhand government, Shah said there was no danger of downstream flooding and the rise in water levels has been contained.

Shah said that the Centre and the state government have been keeping a strict vigil on the situation which is being monitored round the clock by the Central government at the highest level.