Four years have passed since Kedarnath Disaster, but the anger of the mountains has not diminished even today as the Government has created a concrete policy to overcome such accidents. The India Meteorological Department claimed that the reason for Kedarnath's Disaster was extraordinary heavy rains, while the figures tell a different story. The rain which was recorded on 17 June 2013 in the nearby places of Kedarnath is as follows:
Chamoli - 76 millimeters, Joshimath - 114 millimeters, Tehri -169 millimeters, Jakholi - 108 mm and 92 mm in Rudraprayag.
Compared to other places in Uttarakhand, heavy rains such as:
In Mukteshwar - 237 ml, Babans - 230 ml, Champawat -222 ml and Uttarkashi - 207 ml.
In the affected area, rainfall was very less compared to other non-affected areas. Such races have been done several times in that area. In the report of the Wadia Institute, the Uttarakhand Government and the Disaster Management Center of the Ministry of Water Resources, it has also been said that heavy rains had occurred but the rainfall was not uncommon. We are reporting here that you can see. (Page number 3).
The cause of the disaster in the above area was the burst of Chorabari Glacier but due to the downfall of the Mandakini River, the cause of the hydroelectric project was due. On the orders of the Supreme Court, the Government created Ravi Chopra Committee. This committee said in its report:
“THDC officials informed the EB team during it’s field visit that its claim that Rishikesh and Haridwar were saved from catastrophic floods was based on an inundation analysis performed by its hydrologists and engineers. The inundation maps produced by THDC were reviewed and a ground survey was done in some of the areas shown as would be inundated by THDC. A ground survey team People’s Science Institute (PSI), Dehra Doon directed by the EB Chairman noticed a major discrepancy between the stage discharge graph provided by THDC and the record maintained at the CWC gauging station at Kharkhari in Haridwar. Further, according to the CWC gauging station, the highest flood level (HFL) at Kharkhari in 2013 was about 296 m. THDC’s inundation map for Kharkhari at 295.68 m shows a certain flooded area for this level. Residents of the area when interviewed in the ground survey conducted by the scientists from PSI, said that flood water never reached their area. According to them the flood did not breach the raised highway between their locality and the river. Thus THDC’s inundation analysis results could not be substantiated by the ground survey in Haridwar city. It therefore raises some doubts about the magnitude of flooding that was averted in Hardwar.
R. Chopra, Chairman, EB”
The real reason for the disaster in the area below was that the hydropower projects had blocked the route of Mandakini. The heavy rainfall uprooted stones and trees. Rainfall took these trees and stones into the river Mandakini. The river would take this soil and trees directly from the shed, but hydropower projects in Phata-Vyung and Singoli-Bhatwari stopped the flow. Below we can see the photograph of Singoli-Bhatwari Dam site.
Siltation was trapped in a barrage and the reservoir was quickly filled with the dam. Above this barrage, the bridge over Sitapur was flooded. People coming from Kedarnath are trapped on the other side of the bridge. Due to the drowning of the bridge, they were unable cross Mandakini.
Due to obstruction in the Fata-Vyung, the water level of the river increased and the river started cutting down here. In front of the Singoli-Bhatwari hydroelectric project made by Larsen and Turbo, the iver faced further obstruction. Usually the flow of the river is straight, but the river came out of the edge of the barrage, so the river started moving like a snake. The Mandakini River started cutting and stopping the mountain in front. The river cut the edges and took the clay and trees together, which led to increasing water level in the river. As the water level increased, villages such as Chandrapuri were completely submerged.
It was not the end of the story Mandakini joined Alaknanda in Rudraprayag. Then both of them faced obstacles by GVK's Srinagar hydropower project together. The company initially did not open the gates due to which the pond was quickly filled. On June 17, 2013 the lake had reached its highest level from all four sides. Then the company opened the gate suddenly to reduce this level. Water came out like a tsunami with a huge drift The Company deposited huge amounts of soil deposited on the river bank without security measures like stone wall and wire netting along the river. The river took this soil with him, which is why, once again the level of water increased. The water entered into many homes in Srinagar and people have to displace them here. National Highway 58 has to be closed for 2 weeks.
Destruction was not just due to the burst of Chorarbari Lake. The destruction was caused due to obstruction of the flow of the Ganga by the hydropower project which was completely man-made.
We request to Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi to abolish these projects to avoid disasters created by hydro-power projects.