The Geological Survey of India (GSI) on Thursday submitted its much-awaited report on the June deluge to the Uttarakhand government recommending re-channelizing the ferocious Mandakini river, strengthening the platform around the historic Kedarnath temple, removal of debris around the shrine through green blast techniques, realignment of damaged highways and roads and building new tunnels for road safety in the eco-fragile state.
However, the report which is in five volumes did not agree with the government’s decision to relocate nearly 300 disaster-prone villages for which a separate package of Rs 8,000 crore is being sought from the centre. The report said remedial measures can safeguard majority of such villages from any future natural calamity.
“We have surveyed 67 out of the total 300 villages till now which are said to be disaster-prone. We have stated that very less number of such villages should be shifted to nearby areas and the problem pertaining to landslides and other natural calamities can be solved through some remedial measures,” said Dr V K Sharma, Director of the Uttarakhand GSI after submitting the report to Chief Secretary Subhash Kumar. The report was prepared by the GSI with the help of 21 experts in a span of six months covering 274 landslide spots.
Significantly, Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna has stated that all future plans like reconstruction works in the disaster-hit state would be chalked out on the basis of the GSI report.
The report also did not go into detail on the controversy whether the hydel projects were responsible for bringing such a big devastation in the state. “We have only stated that only small and micro hydel projects were damaged in the floods while the big projects like Tehri dam remained safe. This can also be interpreted that big dams are safe as compared to the smaller ones,” said Dr Sharma.
Stating that the Mandakini river had changed its course to the western flank of the Kedarnath temple, Dr Sharma said the river should be re-channelized to its original course so that it should meet Saraswati river in the southern side of the temple only. “Now the river has changed its course and is meeting Saraswati river on the western flank of the temple. Earlier, Mandakini used to meet Saraswati in the southern side of the temple. Now, we want the river to be re-channelized to its original course,” said Dr Jain.
He said the platform around the Kedarnath shrine which has developed some minor cracks should be strengthened and there should be retrofitting of the temple. The huge debris around the shrine should be removed and green blast techniques be used for this purpose.
The report said there should be realignment of the highways and roads which were damaged in the landslides and floods. “We have stated that some new tunnels should also be built,” said Dr Sharma. However, Dr Sharma said it was very difficult to construct a tunnel at the landslide-prone Lambaggar area on Badrinath highway. “This is because a new tunnel cannot be constructed parallel to the already laid down tunnel of the Jaypee Group’s 400 Mw Vishnuprayag project in Chamoli district,” he said.
After getting the report, the Chief Secretary said the government would use this report for all its future plans in the floods-hit areas of the state.
src: Business Standard