Development Dialogue

Tapovan barrage bore the brunt of the Uttarakhand natural calamity

The unfortunate flash flood in Uttarakhand – caused by unprecedented snowfall that triggered an avalanche – has led serious devastation in Uttarakhand. While rescue operation is on by teams of ITBP, Indian Army and Navy, NDRF and SDRF, situation is being monitored continuously with the help of district administration and police.

Tapovan barrage bore the brunt of this natural calamity, by withstanding the tremendous onslaught of the flood, the barrage reduced the surging water’s pressure, thereby saving several villages downstream from being washed away.

But for the barrage at Tapovan Project, the loss of life and property would have been enormous. Despite the avalanche and deluge in the Alaknanda river, NTPC barrage absorbed the pressure, preventing much of the slush from flooding the area.

There has been loss of lives, materials and investments made, as the construction work at the site was in full swing. The initial estimate of the loss is pegged Rs 1,500 crore. Consequently, the project – slated to be completed by 2023 – will be delayed by at least 2-3 years.

Layout of Tapovan barrage project

Although requisite safeguards were undertaken and the site was selected after careful consideration of all environmental and ecological factors, including earthquakes as required, no project or infrastructure can account for a natural disaster of this scale that offers little time to react.

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