R.K.Singh, Union Minister of State for Power and New & Renewable Energy, said, “The natural disaster in Uttarakhand, where an avalanche has led to flash floods today 7th Feb,2021, is very sad and tragic.” The glacial burst led to the rising of water levels in the river Rishiganga, which washed away the Rishiganga small hydro project of 13.2 MW.The floods have also damaged part of NTPC’s under construction hydropower project Tapovan Vishnugad 520 MW in the region.
Singh added that he is continuously monitoring the situation to ensure quick relief and rescue operations and he is also in constant touch with Uttrakhand’s Chief Minister Shri Trivendra Singh Rawat. Speaking about resue operations he said, “While rescue operation is on, we are assessing the ground situation with the help of district administration and police. SDRF, ITBP, and Indian army are carrying out rescue operation. Divers from Indian Navy are also in standby.”
He mentioned that the NTPC’s hydro power project which is under construction at Tapovan Vishnugad, is a run of river project with capacity of 4X130 MW. The project is still under construction and all the units were slated to be commissioned in 2022-23. The contracting agencies whose labours were deployed today are M/s. Rithwik Projects Pvt. Ltd., M/s. HCC Ltd and M/s. OM Metal Infra Projects Ltd.
Power Minister further informed that the extent of damage and casualties is being assessed. Today being a Sunday, number of workers working in the NTPC hydro plant were relatively less and this has helped lower the impact of the disaster. He said, “I have asked NTPC’s top management to travel to the site of the disaster for better coordination of relief operations. Twelve persons have already been rescued. We are still trying to ascertain the exact number of missing workers from the project site and we are praying that the causalities are not much.”