The Uttar Pradesh government has asked officials of all districts on the banks of the Ganga river to be on a high alert.
Massive destruction is feared after a portion of the Nanda Devi glacier broke off on Sunday. The glacier burst at the Reni village has resulted in a flood in the Tapovan area of Joshimath in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. According to the local police, Rishiganga power project has been damaged due to a breach of the glacier. News agency PTI reported that around 150 labourers working at the site are missing.
Many houses situated on the banks of the Dhauliganga river in Reni village reportedly got destroyed because of the sudden rise in water level in the river. As per Rudraprayag SP, the breaking of the glacier triggered an avalanche and the water level is also likely to rise in the Alaknanda river.
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Controversy around Rishiganga power project
The massive destruction in the Chamoli Uttarakhand region was being feared ever since the work for Rishiganga power project started. Several people had approached Uttarakhand High Court in 2019 alleging unfair and environmentally hazardous practices by the private company. A public interest litigation (PIL) filed in the court against it alleged that the company even blocked the historic pathway to the forest that was used by Gaura Devi, one of the leaders of the Chipko movement.
For the uninitiated, the Chipko movement was started in the early 1970. The landmark event took place in 1974 when a group of peasant women of Reni village acted to reclaim their traditional forest rights.
High alert in Uttar Pradesh
The Uttar Pradesh government has asked officials of all districts on the banks of the Ganga river to be on a high alert. The government has asked them to continuously monitor the water level after a glacier broke in Chamoli district of the neighbouring state. The NDRF, SDRF, and PAC Flood Company have also been put on alert.