Massive floods in Uttarkashi district, many feared dead (August 2012)

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#46 Aug 13th, 2012, 12:55
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Originally Posted by Paleface View Post And apart from sensible places to build, proper foundations, build quality etc - there is precious little that can be done to completely safeguard anything, against the cloudburst that happened high up and simply grew in force and volume as it collected into Asi Ganga and shot down the valley.
Centre has announced 900 Crores package for Uttarakhand! Let's see..
As an Indian it may not be appropriate on my part being cynical about govt.projects.But experience has taught me to be cynical about most of the govt.projects. Generally most of the govt.agencies are after cut back/commissions and the work most of the times go to the company who pay most. Looking for real quality is not the rule but,an exception.I wonder how much will go to the end projects. Nobody can be doubtful about the quality of work of some of the best construction companies in India; but will they be entrusted the projects I wonder.The possibility of the common man being taken for a ride,hearing this amount, looms large.Let us hope for the best and believe that all the works will be carried out in an eco-friendly framework.
#47 Aug 13th, 2012, 13:07
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A mountain slope must be touched with utter reverence. Himalayas are too brittle.
#48 Aug 13th, 2012, 13:29
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#48
Thanks for the other members specially paleface, livinhimalayas for contributing from where I left.

The area of uttarkashi has been blessed in form of natural beauty and resources compared to other regions of Uttarakhand.

But we seem to pay big price for this.
I can recall some Major calamities this region faced

(1)1978 floods, this was more severe than current one. Originated from cloudburst in Bharonghati and took away many villages with it. Lives lost were also in hundreds. I was still not born at this time , but read about this in detail on internet recently.

(2) 1991 earthquake, this one was worst tragedy of recent times, and I was witness to this at 10 Years of age. Many mud and stone houses collapsed in Gangori and lives lost. Our house was spared as it was made up of concrete, but the crack on walls made it unsafe to live. We spent a months time in tents in month of october november.

(3) Varunavt landslide, fortunately this was concentrated in a small area and no lives lost. Though three hotels which were shining stars of town were completely vanished under rubble. I was out of town for studies though could see the effects on my return.

(4) And now current floods, whole area of other side of bridge in gangori has been destroyed. Even the park has not been spared. I had fond memories of this, when I had taken my newly married wife to this park. We also use to walk on the road to sangamchatti.

The tiloth pul was crossed daily on our way to MDS school, and jhula put was the one where we spent much time on evenings. Sad to see both taken away by floods.


From photos posted by paleface, I can make out that, the river bed is now raised much higher than before. This may be due to huge mass of rocks that had flown underneath the flood water.
Regards
Ajay
#49 Aug 13th, 2012, 14:57
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Paleface
Terrible pics. In your opinion how long it will take to restore the Uttarkashi - Gangotri marg. Read in the local news paper yesterday that some 150 stranded passenger of Gangotri were evacuated by Helicopter by the authority.
#50 Aug 15th, 2012, 03:31
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#50
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Originally Posted by ajay_uki View Post I can make out that, the river bed is now raised much higher than before. This may be due to huge mass of rocks that had flown underneath the flood water.
Got power back earlier after two day outage - still it's being restored to most.

The reports from Sangam Chatti is that the Asi Ganga bed has risen by up to ten meters, with all the boulders and rocks brought down from high by the three massive pulses of water??? and likewise downstream towards Gangori but not so great in height.

That areas above S.Chatti are completely cut off with paths and trails also obliterated.

That it will probably be months before the Gangotri Road is open.
#51 Aug 15th, 2012, 17:50
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Citymonk - I have suffered the Gurgaon blocks for a number of years and agree but if you are in cybercity you might have seen it was made one way about 18 months back and that improved the flow significantly. That was done by one guy from DLF with the help of a lady DSP - doesn't come under HUDA. So change is possible - that is why I said I hope because things can change but the current state is not good.

I feel passionately about urban infrastructure improvements but that is entirely in government hands and as someone pointed out, corruption rules the roost. Another hope of mine is that a citizen movement or someone like Anil Kejriwal's / Baba Ramdev's party focusses on these issues at a local level and we can all help out.

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Originally Posted by cityMONK View Post
But weather was always there from centuries, and Monsoon is annual phenomenon. Hill people also always knew what is ecological balance, what the modren day developers do not.

I think you have good number of town planners in GURGOAN near Delhi but you can feel there, what they have planned for residents of posh buildings. Choked and broken roads, to expect the least.
#52 Aug 16th, 2012, 01:08
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#52

Massive floods......

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Originally Posted by Paleface View Post That areas above S.Chatti are completely cut off with paths and trails also obliterated.
That it will probably be months before the Gangotri Road is open.
I have been planning to go to Agoda and Bebra during the last week of Sept. or first week of Oct. after my journey to Kedar etc.as i wanted to see a few persons whom I had met on my earlier journeys. So it seems that i shall not be able to go to Agoda and Bebra.I wonder how my host at Bebra Mr.Rawat and his family are and how my Gujjar friends-Balu Basheer etc. are. Gujjars used to stay at Mahji and the Rawats were at Agoda at a higher level, but not far away from Assi.
#53 Aug 16th, 2012, 01:11
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#53
Remains drying out




Walking suspension bridge down in Uttarkashi.




Upriver in the rain toward Tehekla & Gangori.

#54 Aug 16th, 2012, 15:56
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#54
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I wonder how my host at Bebra Mr.Rawat and his family are and how my Gujjar friends-Balu Basheer etc. are. Gujjars used to stay at Mahji and the Rawats were at Agoda at a higher level, but not far away from Assi.
Any contact number?
#55 Aug 16th, 2012, 23:11
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Bebra is the worst hit of the villages that were inspected by a few of our friends who walked up the Assi Ganga to assess the damage. All the families in these areas are fine as they moved up to their chchanis (cow sheds) just before the area flooded. There hasn't been much loss of life except at the dam site where there was a colony of Nepali labourers living. They were all washed off along with the dam! The rains caused landslides that blocked up assi valley causing blockages and lakes in the river. When these lakes broke they released a huge amount of water that bore down towards Gangori taking down all that lay in its path, undercutting the land causing more slides and blockages. According to reports by a few people who have managed to get through from around Dodital to Uttarkashi, there is a huge amount of rubble that has collected at Dodital and the river bed has risen as much as 10 meters in some places. At Gangori it is risen by at least 20 ft. Now the river is at the level of the road which was at least 20 - 30 ft. above the original river bed. The entire Assi vlley that used to be so green and beautiful now looks torn and ugly, littered with huge boulders and silt left by the receding water. Pictures that Paleface has posted capture only a little part of the damage. Further up the valley towards Gangotri there are 70 villages that have been totally cut off. The ITBP, Army and BRO are doing their best to repair the roads that have disappeared abd construct temporary bridges, but it will be a long time before Gangotri yatra can be resumed.
He that would live in peace and at ease must not speak all he knows or all he sees. - Benjamin Franklin
#56 Aug 16th, 2012, 23:54
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#56

Massive floods......

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Originally Posted by livinhimalayas View Post Bebra is the worst hit of the villages ....... .
To say the least this is shocking and I think of the few days I spent at Bebra and what a beautiful valley it had been. There was a rivulet rushing along just behind the shed i stayed and it joined Assi far down.I have been thinking of another journey to see my hosts -Rawat and family. I do not have any contact number as they did not have any phone.They stayed at Agoda and there was a wireless loop land line there.The images of all these places are etched in my mind and I do hope that I will be able to go at least to Agoda.
What a tragic story of the Nepali workers!The dam was being constructed way down I think.
By the way where are you settled?
#57 Aug 17th, 2012, 00:44
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#57
It's painful to hear about the loss and devastation this beautiful valley is suffering. Not sure if I should cancel my plan for the Gaumukh-Tapovan trek late September. I have already booked my flight to New Delhi and the train journey onwards to Haridwar. Any chances that the route will be open by then? Can someone please guide me?

More than anything else, I hope the affected are getting the help and relief they need, and all the efforts are taken to bring their lives back on track in good time. My heart goes out to them.
#58 Aug 17th, 2012, 01:40
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Originally Posted by Jaf View Post Not sure if I should cancel my plan for the Gaumukh-Tapovan trek late September. I have already booked my flight to New Delhi and the train journey onwards to Haridwar. Any chances that the route will be open by then?
Chances most probably are, that the road will not be motorable in a few badly washed away sections.

It is down in many locations and so reconstructing (if possible) or repairing is going to be difficult in monsoon anyway, especially if there is more prolonged rains. Local word is that it'll be a miracle to get it done by Sep. end. However walking across should be possible, with taxi's the other side, providing fuel gets up.. a bit early to be definitive you see.
#59 Aug 17th, 2012, 14:34
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#59
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Originally Posted by Paleface View Post Chances most probably are, that the road will not be motorable in a few badly washed away sections.

It is down in many locations and so reconstructing (if possible) or repairing is going to be difficult in monsoon anyway, especially if there is more prolonged rains. Local word is that it'll be a miracle to get it done by Sep. end. However walking across should be possible, with taxi's the other side, providing fuel gets up.. a bit early to be definitive you see.
Any chance of my getting to Agoda in the last week of Sept.
#60 Aug 18th, 2012, 00:33
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#60
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Originally Posted by narayanvee View Post Any chance of my getting to Agoda in the last week of Sept.
You should be all right with that plan as far as getting up there, and also something more substantial may be up and running at Gangori.

Actually the old bridge that just washed away, was being upgraded with a new bridge, but that fell down a year or so ago due to shoddy engineering - yet its' concrete work is supporting the temporary bridge seen coming up on the same supports.



Whatever disaster aid comes to Uttarkashi area, the people are talking that the work should go to a MNC, and not to local contractor's - i'll support that if it means quality materials and work. The cabinet minister for development is as good a man as they come, so we hope so..

Praise the mule as they keep it all going.

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