NDMA team lands Phuktal river blockage site, conducts analysis

NDMA team at Phuktal river blockage site in Ladakh.
NDMA team at Phuktal river blockage site in Ladakh.

Excelsior Correspondent
KARGIL, Feb 11: Defying all odds, a team of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) appointed to study the Tserab Chu (Phuktal) river blockage landed at the site of the landslide with the help of the Indian Air Force and conducted valuable analysis.
The four member sub-team comprising R K Varma, Scientist DRDO, Maheshwar Singh, Survey Officer, Major Dheeraj Pohad of the 70 Engineering Regiment and Skalzang Wangyal, Executive Councillor, Zanskar Affairs, LAHDC reached the spot and carried out the operation at an altitude of more than 14000 feet and in freezing conditions.
It is pertinent to mention here that it is the first time since the landslide took place that anybody has set foot on the spot. The original 10-member team headed by V D Roy, Director of the Central Water Commission had conducted an aerial survey of the spot on February 10 and based on their findings it was decided that a detailed ground survey needed to be conducted to arrive at realistic conclusions.
Various activities like collection of soil/rock sample, ground rennaissance of the site and volumetric analysis of the reservoir were conducted by the team. As a result of the ground study, the true dimensions of the blockage have come to the fore. The blockage has been calculated to be 400 metre long along the river bed, 50 metre high and 100 metre wide across the river bed.
The team will analyse the findings and submit a detailed report specifying an actionable solution to the problem.
Meanwhile, Prasanna Ramaswamy, Deputy Commissioner Kargil interacted with the residents of Zanskar Sub-Division stranded in Leh due to the threat posed to the world famous Chadar river route by the Tserab Chu (Phuktal) river landslide.
The people requested that more helicopter sorties should be operated to transport more than 500 persons still stuck up in Leh. They requested for an enhancement in the relief package already being provided to them and requested for early opening of the Chadar route for foot traffic.
The Deputy Commissioner explained the emergent situation to them regarding the danger posed by the blockage across the Phuktal river and said that a solution will soon be at hand.
He promised the people to address all their inconveniences and resolve the problems as soon as possible.