Home / Press Releases / MoS (Home) Shri Kiren Rijiju reviews threat due to artificial lake in J&K No need for panic, experts mull bursting landslide wall to release water

MoS (Home) Shri Kiren Rijiju reviews threat due to artificial lake in J&K No need for panic, experts mull bursting landslide wall to release water

Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Kiren Rijiju chaired a high-level meeting here today to assess the impending risk due to an artificial lake created by a landslide at Phuktal river in the Zanskar Valley of Jammu and Kashmir. The meeting was attended by Secretary, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Senior Officers of Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Defence and Principal Resident Commissioner, J & K.

NDMA informed that an expert team with members from the Central Water Commission (CWC), Geological Survey of India (GSI), Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE), Survey of India (SoI) and National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) has visited the affected area and returned from the site with some potential solutions. He also apprised about the fact that this issue has already engaged the attention of the National Crisis Management Committee. He also mentioned that as per the technical opinion furnished by CWC, there is no need for panic at present, except that in the event of sudden burst of the dam, there could be sudden inflow of boulders because of which the power plant may be required to be shut down for a few days.

During the presentation made by NDMA, the exact location of the landslide dammed lake was shown, along with the distances from different places. It was informed that the affected site is about 90km from Padum and 43km from Purne. There is also a Hydel project of the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation Ltd. at Nimoo Bazgo in the vicinity of this area. The approximate volume of water blocked by the landslide dam is 24 MCM. The size of the blockade is 600m long, 50-60m wide and about 50m thick. The gradient of the gorge is 70 degree and temperature varies from -20 to -40 degree centigrade.

A technical team comprising 5 members from the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC), Army and the Sub-Divisional Magistrate office has been constituted. The J&K Government has given wide publicity to the public about the impending danger through radio and other media. A detailed survey of the population and properties has been made and adequate evacuation/rehabilitation plan has been made. The team that visited the site has collected soil and rock samples for further investigation. Principal Resident Commissioner of J & K Govt. confirmed that at present there are no stranded persons from Leh to Padum/Zanskar along the Chadhar trek.

The technical agencies are examining two solutions. The first solution is to conduct a controlled and supervised blasting, using some explosives to breach the landslide dam and make a channel for flow of water. In case the first option does not work out, the second solution is to explore the use of air force laser guided bombs for breaching the dam. The Minister emphasized that the actions should be taken at the earliest possible time, considering the fact that the melting of the snow would begin by March. He also desired that the public and the media should be kept apprised as and when the required actions are taken by the agencies of the State Govt. and the Government of India in this regard.

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