Chamoli (Uttarkhand), Feb 8 (IANS): A day after a glacier burst triggered a flash flood in the region, Union Minister of State for Power and New and Renewable Energy RK Singh visited the Tapovan tunnel and took stock of the rescue operations by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).
Singh, along with Uttarakhand DGP Ashok Kumar, visited the Tapovan tunnel and officials engaged in the rescue operations apprised him about the works being carried out by the security personnel.
ITBP personnel told Singh that the force has cleared debris approximately 90 metres inside the tunnel near Tapovan Dam, which was damaged after a glacier burst triggered a flash flood in the region, with 100 meters debris remaining inside the tunnel to be cleared.
The Minister then asked the security personnel to flush the debris from the tunnel into the river.
The operation by the ITBP is underway and since there is a large amount of debris inside the tunnel, Manoj Singh Rawat, ADG Western Command of ITBP, took stock of the rescue operations by border patrol organisation at the Tapovan tunnel earlier on Tuesday.
ITBP officials also discussed the map of the tunnel with the project authorities at the spot. ITBP, one of the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF), has been playing a key role in the rescue operation in the disaster. More than 200 ITBP personnel are on the spot.
The glacier breach happened on Sunday morning at Joshimath in Chamoli district and triggered a massive flood that hit two hydropower projects — NTPC Tapovan hydel powerplant and Rishi Ganga hydel power plant — following which nearly 200 people are missing. However, ITBP and other central and state rescue teams have managed to save lives of more than a dozen people in different tunnels.
The NDRF, ITBP and state authorities have been carrying out rescue operations along with the army in the region. The central government is monitoring the situation and joint efforts of all the agencies are being made to rescue those trapped.
Power Minister RK Singh accompanied by Power Secretary Radhika Jha and DGP Ashok Kumar.