197 persons missing, 20 dead in Uttarakhand flood: Home Minister Amit Shah

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New Delhi, Feb 9 (PTI) As many as 197 people are missing while 20 people have died due to floods in Uttarakhand, Union Home Minister Amit Shah told Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

In a separate tunnel in the NTPC project, it is estimated that around 25 to 35 people are stuck inside, he said, adding 'rescue operation to evacuate these persons is going on a war footing and all-out efforts are simultaneously being made for searching missing persons'.

Making a statement in the House 'regarding an avalanche in Chamoli District of Uttarakhand', the Union minister said these inputs were based on the information received till Monday 5 pm from the state government.

Noting that an avalanche had occurred in the upper catchment of Rishiganga river, a tributary of Alaknanda riven in Chamoli District of Uttarakhand, which led to sudden rise in the water level of Rishiganga River, he said as per information, a total of 197 persons are reported missing which includes 139 are from the under-construction NTPC project, 46 people working on Rishi Ganga project and 12 villagers.

He said in the financial year 2020-21, Rs 1041 crore has been allocated to the State of Uttarakhand under the State Disaster Risk Management Fund (SDRMF)and the first installment of the central share amounting to Rs 468.50 crore has been released to the State Government.

The state government has reported that there is no danger of downstream flooding and the rise in water level has been contained, he said, adding the Centre and the State Government have been keeping a strict vigil on the situation.

'It is observed from the satellite data (Planet Lab) of 7th February, 2021 in catchment of Rishi Ganga river at the terminus of the glacier at an altitude of 5600m a landslide triggered a snow avalanche covering approximately 14 sq.km area and causing a flash flood in the downstream of Rishi Ganga river,' he added. PTI KRH PYK PYK