Uttarkashi: 25 July, 2015

Garhwal Commissioner CS Napalchyal visited Uttarkashi district today and took stock of the situation obtaining after the landslide over the Tambakhani tunnel at Varunavat Parvat. He inspected cracks appearing on the top terrace of the mountain that was treated with concrete in 2004.

Napalchyal said a new problem had arisen with continuous landslides over the tunnel and experts from Tehri Hydro Development Corporation (THDC) assigned the task to determine the scale of the problem had in their report recommended speedy treatment of Varunavat Parvat.

He said the experts had suggested immediate, short term and long-term treatment of the mountain. The Commissioner directed Irrigation Department officials to prepare a detailed project report and present it to the state government for speedy approval so that the treatment work could begin earnestly. He said Irrigation Department officials would start the work tonight itself.

Napalchyal said Varunavat Parvat was an active landslide mountain and he would submit a complete report to the government on its present status. He said there was no immediate danger to the people living under Varunavat Parvat. Uttarkashi District Magistrate Indudhar Baudai said the district administration responded quickly as soon as the landslide began over the Tambakhani tunnel. Geologists and THDC experts were summoned to gauze the situation and a technical inspection was conducted, he added. The Irrigation Department would begin the treatment work on Varunavat Parvat soon.

Irrigation Department Assistant Engineer PS Panwar said experts had suggested use of synthetic mats to avoid land erosion and pipes for drainage of water from the affected site. He added cement blocks that were constructed during the treatment work done in 2004 and had developed cracks would be removed.
He said the Uttarkashi District Magistrate had sanctioned around Rs 10 lakh for the work. Machines required for completing the work would reach tonight. The estimated cost of the treatment work was around Rs 38 lakh, he added.

Meanwhile, environmentalists and the BJP have termed the whole exercise as an eyewash and demanded an explanation from the government for the treatment work done in 2004. Uttarkashi residents, who bore the brunt of a series of landslides on September 24, 2003, are again fearful that landslides over the Tambakhani tunnel would continue due to the gaping cracks at Varunavat Parvat.
Courtesy: The Tribune

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