Relocate Uttarakhand village hit by February flash floods: Report


Express News Service

DEHRADUN: Raini village in Uttarakhand, where scores died in the February flash floods, has been termed “vulnerable” in a report by the Uttarakhand Disaster Recovery Initiative. The report, submitted to the state government, recommends relocation of villagers.

“Raini is facing serious slope stability problems. During investigation, wide cracks were observed in walls and floors of houses, indicating active slope movement in the area. It is advisable to relocate the village to a safe location,” it said,  suggesting two rehabilitation sites.

Raini village, located at the confluence of rivers Rishi Ganga and Dhauli Ganga, in Chamoli district, is associated with the Chipko Movement of 1970s. It is located 22 kms from Joshimath.

After the February disaster, the administration asked for a geo-technical team’s visit to conduct a survey and review the identified land for rehabilitation of the families. A team of experts was sent to Raini for the survey.

A study published in June revealed the cause of Chamoli flash floods as a rock and ice avalanche releasing energy “equivalent to about 15 Hiroshima atom bombs”. It highlighted the risks associated with “rapid expansion of hydropower infrastructure into an increasingly unstable territory”.

After the devastating flood of June 2013, a report by the state government had revealed that Uttarakhand has 395 disaster-prone villages. Of them, 225 are in ‘sensitive’ and 72 in ‘hyper-sensitive’ categories. In over a decade, 1,086 families from 43 disaster-affected villages in the hill districts have been rehabilitated.

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