Uttarakhand: Hydropower, mining projects behind landslides, floods
Posted on: 11:22 AM IST Jun 19, 2013
Dehradun: The early monsoon that hit North India is continuing to wreak havoc with Uttarakhand being the worst-hit state. Uttarkashi, Kedarnath, Gaurikund, Rambada and Rudraprayag in the state are badly affected by land slides, flash floods and heavy rains.
Although the state is prone to landslides and flash floods but in recent times such incidents have been occurring at an alarming rate. Several areas of Uttarakhand are still cut off from the country and the death toll could rise.
Rescue teams are yet to reach many areas where people have been trapped for over three days. Army units and NDRF teams have been deployed to help in the rescue and relief work.
Experts say rapid deforestation and construction work in the hills are some of the reasons behind frequent floods and landslides. Several hydropower projects and mining projects are going on in Uttarakand. The blasts used during tunnel constructions or mining is leading to landslides. According to the sources Asiganga hydropower project played a key role in the Uttarkashi disaster in 2011-12. At the project site of Asiganga blasts are being carried our regularly to make the dam which results in debris falling into the river. The blasts also damage the environment.
The debris raises the water level in the river which leads to flash floods when it rains heavily. During monsoon such floods have become very common and cause a lot of destruction.
A large number of trees are also cut for these projects, causing soil erosion and leading to massive landslides.
More than 220 power and mining projects are running in 14 river valleys in Uttarakhand. Several rivers are being diverted through tunnels for these projects leading to major disasters in the state.