Uttarakhand disaster: Locals feared Kedarnath-like tragedy. Rakesh Dhimri, 42, who lives in Rayini village, was drinking his tea on Sunday morning when he suddenly got up from his chair and asked about the loud sound of running water.
On his way out, he saw a large number of threads flowing to Rishi Ganga’s power project, enough to remind him of the memories of the 2013 Kedarnath disaster that killed thousands of people.
Like Dhimri, many other residents of the small town of Raini near the dam came out of their houses staring at the river in panic and panic, breaking into the dam where at least 40 workers were missing. “The first thing that came to my mind after seeing the swollen river was the Kedarnath disaster that claimed thousands of lives. My family and I were just praying to God to protect us from the same tragedy. Fortunately, we were saved but the dam staff are not so lucky,” Dhimri said.
Mahendra Prakash Semwal, who lives in the city of Chamoli, about 24 kilometers from the Rishi Ganga project, said, “We have been informed by the authorities about the breach of the dam and we pray to God as most of us move to safer areas from the river.”
“We were holding our breath with all eyes on the Alaknanda River where the water level had risen due to a snowstorm. We remained in the same condition until the water level dropped in the river and blew us up,” Semwal said. “However, we will not be able to sleep tonight out of fear and fear of a catastrophe at night like Kedarnath,” he added.
There was panic as news of the disaster spread to the mountainous region, near the China-Nepal border. Many people living along the river seemed to leave their homes with whatever they could find. Fortunately, there was not much water in the river to reach their homes.
The catastrophe claimed the lives of seven people until Sunday evening. Twelve people have been rescued and about 190 are still missing after being injured in two dams, Rishi Ganga and Dhauli Ganga. Many Chamoli residents asked the government to establish these two projects there even though local and environmentalists refused.
“The catastrophe caused a great loss of life and property in the area. The government should have considered everything, including science, before launching projects in the area that could completely destroy the Rishi Ganga district completely,” said Pradep Farswan, a resident of Chamoli.
He added, “The government should help provide basic services to the affected people, including staff working on the Dauli Ganga project, as some of them, who were not present at the time of the incident, roamed abruptly as closing times.”
State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) personnel were among the first to respond to the disaster by launching a rescue operation.
“At first, the people of the area were scared. They were afraid that a disaster like Kedarnath could happen again,” said an SDRF worker who was rushed to help with the Rishi Ganga hydel project.
NK Joshi, a disaster management officer in the Chamoli region, said, “Since the disaster was so great, the residents of the area were shocked. However, we have tried to address this by making announcements in the area, urging people to stay away from the river and find safety.”
“We also went to social media and strongly urged them to ignore any rumors about these incidents including old unrelated videos. However, many were still in a state of panic after the water level in the river dropped to normal,” said Jososhi.
Acknowledging the injuries and other losses, he said, “So far, rescuers have recovered seven bodies and rescued 12 crew members from the Dhauli Ganga project. Efforts are being made to rescue others trapped in another 250 meters.
“God has saved me,” said the worker as he emerged from the changing ditch dug inside the river. “I can’t believe I’m alive. Inside the tunnel, we were working a certain distance and we didn’t have time to respond to the water. I was rescued when I cried in the corner,” said an anonymous worker who was rescued by SDRF staff. The Tapovan hydel project said.
According to the total number of missing persons, Jososhi said the exact number was not available. Some officials, however, said 190 missing workers were working in both dams at the time of the incident.
“Fortunately it was a Sunday because most of the workers did not come. If it had been a working day, the feared loss of life would have been very great,” said Josh.
Earlier in the day, as soon as the incident was reported, the country’s leadership, including the prime minister and the country’s secretary general, went into action to monitor the situation with CM Trivendra Singh Rawat later flying to Tapovan to assess the situation and monitor the rescue operation. .
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Affairs Minister Amit Shah also spoke to him about the situation while confirming any possible assistance in the rescue operation.
Rescue work is still underway with staff from the SDRF, NDRF, ITBP and the Armed Forces involved and the victors. It will continue on Monday.