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After Uttarakhand flash flood SDRF installs early warning water-level sensor at Raini village

The move comes after a flash flood on February 7 led to the death of 62 people, washed away the Rishi Ganga hydro-power project and damaged NTPC's hydro power project downstream in Tapovan area.

Written by Lalmani Verma | Dehradun |
Updated: February 20, 2021 8:07:37 am
Uttarakhand flash flood hits water supply in DelhiRescue work being done after the flash flood in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. (Express Photo by Gajendra Yadav)

The Uttarakhand State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) has installed a siren-based early warning water-level sensor system at Raini village in Chamoli district to alert the villagers and disaster management authorities in case of sudden rise in the Rishi Ganga water level.

The move comes after a flash flood on February 7 led to the death of 62 people, washed away the Rishi Ganga hydro-power project and damaged NTPC’s hydro power project downstream in Tapovan area. Search operations for missing people Raini village and Tapovan were ongoing as of Friday, and 142 people are still missing.

SDRF commandant Navneet Bhullar said that one water-level sensor has been installed that will sound an alarm when the river’s water level rises above 3.5 metres. Bhullar said the alarm will be audible up to a 5-km radius, and in case of a power cut, will audible up to 1-km.

A team of SDRF personnel has also been deployed in the village to alert the state and district control rooms and the senior authorities in case the water level rises.

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The sensor system has come as a relief to the residents of Raini Chak Subhai and Raini Chak Lata villages, located at either side of the Rishi Ganga — after the flash flood, they spent several nights in the forests so that they did not have to look for safe ground in case of any disaster after sunset.

Bhawan Rana, the pradhan of Raini Chak Subhai village, said that the sensor has given psychological relief to residents who are worried after the formation of a lake about 6 km upstream from the village.

Meanwhile, a 14-member group of scientists and personnel from SDRF and ITBP on Friday left to visit the lake, analyse the threats prevailing from the water body and recommend measures to avert any disaster from it. The team is scheduled to reach the lake on Saturday.

One of the scientists, Dr Kalachand Sain, who is the director of the Dehradun-based Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, said there is no threat from the lake so far because water was discharging from it continuously.

Earlier, on February 17, three DRDO scientists and SDRF personnel had left for the lake. Both groups will jointly inspect the lake and submit a report to the government.

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