The barrage at the under-construction Tapovan Project might have helped save further harm to life and property, official sources told INFRASTRUCTURE TODAY.
The unfortunate flash flood in the state of Uttarakhand – caused by unprecedented snowfall that triggered an avalanche – led to serious devastation on Sunday morning. While rescue operations are on by teams of Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Indian Army and Navy, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), the situation is being monitored continuously with the help of district administration and police.
“The Tapovan barrage bore the brunt of this natural calamity, by withstanding the tremendous onslaught of the flood, the barrage reduced the surging water’s pressure, thereby saving several villages downstream from being washed away,” a source told the news portal.
“But for the barrage at Tapovan Project, the loss of life and property would have been enormous. Despite the avalanche and deluge in the Alaknanda River, NTPC barrage absorbed the pressure, preventing much of the slush from flooding the area,” the person requesting anonymity added.
There was a significant loss of lives, materials and investments, as the construction work at the site was in full swing. The initial estimate of the loss is pegged at Rs 15 billion. Consequently, the project that was scheduled for completion by 2023 will be delayed by at least a couple of years.
“Although requisite safeguards were undertaken and the site was selected after careful consideration of all environmental and ecological factors, including earthquakes as required, no project or infrastructure can account for a natural disaster of this scale that offers little time to react,” another official told INFRASTRUCTURE TODAY from the accident site.
State government sources have put the number of missing on account of the suspected glacier burst at nearly 200. So far, 34 bodies have been recovered from the disaster site.