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New Delhi : The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) under the chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba met on February 7, 2021, to review the situation arising out of the natural disaster in Uttarakhand caused by glacial burst. The glacial burst led to the rising of water levels in river Rishiganga, which washed away the Rishiganga small hydro project of 13.2 MW.  The flash flood also affected the downstream hydro project of NTPC at Tapovan on river Dhauliganga, a tributary of river Alaknanda.

The Cabinet Secretary directed the agencies concerned to work in close co-ordination and extend all requisite assistance to the State administration.  He emphasised the need to account for all missing persons and ensure that those trapped in the tunnel are rescued at the earliest.  He directed that surveillance should be maintained till rescue efforts are completed and the situation returns to normalcy.

Chief Secretary, Government of Uttarakhand, briefed the Committee, through VC, about the ground situation as well as the actions taken by them after the incident to evacuate people and to contain the damage caused by the flooding due to the glacial burst.

However, there is no danger of downstream flooding and the rise in water level has been contained, as per the information given by the Central Water Commission (CWC).  There is also no threat to the neighbouring villages.  At the same time, the agencies concerned of the Centre and the State were asked to keep a strict vigil on the situation, and a team from DRDO, which monitors avalanches, is being flown in for surveillance and reconnaissance.  MD, NTPC, has been asked to reach the affected site immediately, according to a PIB release.

It was further informed that around 12 persons trapped in a tunnel have been rescued by the ITBP while efforts are on to rescue others trapped in another tunnel, which is being co-ordinated by the Army and ITBP.  All out efforts are being made to ensure that all missing people are traced and accounted for.

Two teams of NDRF are enroute and 3 additional teams have been flown in from Hindon which will reach the spot later in the night.  More than 200 ITBP personnel are on the spot and Engineering Task Force (ETF) of Army, with all rescue equipment, has been deployed.  Navy divers are being flown in and aircrafts/ helicopters of the Indian Air Force (IAF) are on standby. IMD informed during the meeting that there is no rainfall warning in the region for the next two days.

The meeting was attended by Union Home Secretary, Secretary of the Ministry of Power, DG ITBP, Chief IDS, Members of NDMA, DG NDRF, Chairman CWC, DG IMD,and Chairman DRDO, along with other senior officers.  Chief Secretary, Uttarakhand joined the meeting with his team of officers.