Experts visit landslide site which caused blockade on Chanderbhaga river in Himachal

Pratibha Chauhan

Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 16

The threat caused to villages and low-lying areas due to the blockage of the Chanderbhaga river in Lahaul-Spiti seems to have been averted with most of the debris having been removed naturally resulting in smooth flow of water.

A team of experts headed by Director Central Water Commission NN Rai visited the site to assess the situation and suggest measures to avert any mishap.

The team comprised Piyush Ranjan, Director, CWC, Shimla; Rohit Sharma, Assistant Commissioner, Keylong; Col Arun from the Indian Army; Sandeep Kumar Rawal, Inspector, NDRF; and Ramchandra Negi, Nayab Tehsildar, Udaipur.

They visited the landslide site on the Chandrabhaga on Sunday.

A major landslide blocked flow of the Chanderbhaga river near Nalda village in tribal district of Lahaul-Spiti causing panic among the villagers and people living downstream on August 13. As a precautionary measure, the local authorities had evacuated people from some houses along the river banks due to the formation of a lake. Some agricultural land had been submerged.

"We have found that more than 50 per cent blockage has already got removed naturally by the river. The velocity of flow at the blockage location is in the range of 6 to 7 m/s," said Rai, CWC director.

He said that due to the landslide, a natural bench of about 20 m width and about 45 to 50 m length had been formed which will provide the space to accommodate the material falling due to further landslide. "The concave shape of the sliding plain shall also provide some space to accommodate the further sliding material. Hence, the further complete blockage of the river in case of a landslide at the same location is less likely," he said.

The experts observed that the sliding material is carrying the majority of finer grain composition and any material further coming in the river will get washed away by the running water. "The situation seems to be normal at present; however, the administration needs to be watchful," they said.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service

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