NDMA team reviews Phutkal river blockage, suggests measures

Leh: The expert committee of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) headed by Director, Central Water Commission, V. D. Roy today held a meeting in conference hall, Leh regarding the blockage of Phuktal River in Zanskar sub division of Kargil district.

The meeting was attended by Executive Councilor, Zanskar Affairs  Skalzang Namgial, DC, Leh Saugat Biswas, DC, Kargil Prasanna Ramaswamy the expert committee group including, Director, CWC O P Gupta, Director, NHPC B D Patin, SE HQ, Vijayak-R k Dhiman, Scientist-F, SASE R K Verma, Director, GSI-B M Gairola, Oficer Surveyor, SOI Maheshwar Singh and SSP Leh, SDM Khaltsi, District Superintendent Engineer, PWD Div, Leh, Exn PHE Div, Leh, Exn PHE Sub Division, Khaltsi, besides representatives of Army and Air force.

DC, Kargil who has been nominated as nodal Officer for conducting and liaising with the Committee appraised the meeting of the report based on the Aerial Survey conducted by a team on February 01. He highlighted two major weaknesses in tackling the situation, one the accessibility to the blockage site and second about the installation of early warning system. He made a mention of Operation Khatak in Kargil district under which they are taking preparatory steps at local and administrative level to combat any untoward incident, mobilizing local communities, deploying quick response teams in vulnerable hamlets and villages, etc.

The expert committee gave feedback about the blockage and said that a detailed report or substantial statement can be given only after visiting the site.

Suggesting the remedial measures, Mr.  Roy said that the first effort would be to get rid of the blockage either using ideal measure or actionable measure. He also called for installing an automatic river water monitoring system near the site to keep check on water level hourly and also to engage manual observers at Phuktal and second warning system at Padum using satellite based transmitters.

Scientist-F SASE R K Verma, said that no risk is anticipated to the proper suspension bridges in case of flash flood.

The team assured that there is a maximum chance of mitigating the problem that has arisen out of the blockage of Phuktak River and as of now there is no risk of flash flood. They said that their effort would be to access the ground reality in terms of topography, nature of landslide, water level and other technical details to initiate possible steps at the earliest possible.

As per the decision made in the meeting the expert team will be doing an aerial survey tomorrow and after a trial landing the air force chopper will land off the team on the site to closely examine the ground situation.

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