Almost 24 hours after a flood jolted Uttarakhand into high alert, the massive scale of the destruction in the region became clearer on Monday.
In addition to the Rishi Ganga dam project collapsing due to the floods, five important bridges that connected the mountainous areas of the region to one another are left damaged and virtually unusable.
Surrounded by several mountain peaks, these bridges connected 13 hilly villages, whose residents are totally cut off from the low-lying lands and are surviving on food packets being dropped off from choppers.
The flood has also disrupted all electricity and network towers in the villages, and the residents have nothing left to do but wait for the state and central government to make further decisions regarding their re-location or the restoration of connectivity.
A glacier burst 24 kms from Joshimath in Chamoli district led to this. A dam has been breached by Rishi Ganga river, several bridges damaged.Let us keep praying. #Uttarakhand pic.twitter.com/VpeAyCUtDw— Siddharth Acharya (@AdvSidAcharya) February 7, 2021
This is scary. Prayers for Uttarakhand. 🙏🏻 I hope pic.twitter.com/X0bDCUm2RM— Neha Joshi (@The_NehaJoshi) February 7, 2021
Officers from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) were among the first to reach the flood-affected area to charge up rescue operations.
Currently, members of the ITBP are working on clearing up two blocked and damaged tunnels that were part of a power project in Uttarakhand’s Tapovan region.
Vivek Pandey, a spokesperson for the ITBP, told the media that 12 people have been rescued so far from the 900-metre-long tunnel two, while 30 people are still trapped in tunnel one.
Congratulations ITBP personnels for their commendable passion towards the service of the nation.— Dr. Archna Thakur (@DrArchnaThakur1) February 7, 2021
Evacuation of labourers from the Tapovan Tunnel is fantastic job. Let us salute them. Jai Hind.#Uttarakhand @narendramodi @JPNadda @PavanRanaRSS @jairamthakurbjp @blsanthosh pic.twitter.com/mJXA9US7o3
More than 100 labours at Barage and 50 plus in tunnel lost their life as per the site incharge of TAPOVAN NTPC work site. 3 Bridges at Reni village including 1 big bride of BRO. 2 Dead bodies recovered at Tapovan NTPC site. #uttrakhand #Chamoli pic.twitter.com/sm6ncJOOik pic.twitter.com/MUkKL1BvGC— Journalist Siraj Noorani (@sirajnoorani) February 7, 2021
Trivendra Singh Rawat, the state chief of Uttarakhand, has been flying over the flood-affected region in a helicopter to monitor the situation.
While the water level in the Ganges has risen, the flow situation is under control.
Hindu monks, who have been staging fast-unto-death protests against the “unhindered” construction activity on the upper reaches of the Ganges River in the holy state of Uttarakhand, have blamed the glacial burst on the government-backed construction of hydroelectric power projects.