NDMA Expert Committee to conduct aerial survey of Phuktal river today

Excelsior Correspondent

Director, Central Water Commission V D Roy in a meeting at Leh on Monday.
Director, Central Water Commission V D Roy in a meeting at Leh on Monday.

LEH, Feb 9: The Expert Committee of National Disaster Management Authority headed by Director, Central Water Commission, V D Roy held a meeting here today 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 G, 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, Officer Surveyor, SOI-Maheshwar Singh and SSP-Leh,SDM-Khaltsi, District Superintendent Engineer, PWD Div, Leh, X-En PHE Div, Leh, X-En Khaltsi Sub Division, Leh, representatives of Army and Air Force.
DC, Kargil who is nodal officer for conducting and liaisoning with the committee appraises the meeting of the report made based on the aerial survey conducted by the DC himself and his team on February 1.
He highlighted two major weaknesses in tacking 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 administration level to combat the worst, mobilizing local communities and deploying quick response teams in vulnerable hamlets and villages.
The Expert Committee gave feedbacks out of their knowledge about the blockage and experience and said that a detail report or substantial statement can be given only after visiting the site.
Giving mitigating measures, Roy said that the first effort would be to get rid of the blockage either using ideal measure or actionable measure. He also decided to install 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 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 Phuktal 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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