Lake formed by rain threatens BRO bridges

Twenty-four kilometres from the India-China border, at 14,500 feet, a lake formed by incessant rain and landslips this monsoon season is posing a fresh challenge for the authorities and the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), which has bridges downstream of the lake, including some under construction.

In the picturesque Nelong Valley’s Tripani area, 145 km from Uttarkashi town, the lake has been formed at the confluence of a local stream — Angar nallah — with river Sonam (which later becomes Jadh Ganga). Water level in the lake increased this year after incessant rains was witnessed in the region and boulders and rubble were brought in with the Angar nallah.

“The boulders and rubble blocked the downstream flow, clogging the water outlet,” Additional Secretary (Disaster Management) C. Ravishankar told The Hindu.

After reports of the “dangerous” lake formation started flowing in, a team comprising Uttarkashi forest officials, representatives from the Irrigation Department, Disaster Management Department and the Bhatwari Sub-Divisional Magistrate inspected the area on Monday.

“The lake formation started in the year 2009,” SDM of Uttarkashi’s Bhatwari region Vijay Nath Shukla said on his return from Tripani. “This year excessive rainfall brought in boulders and rubble that obstructed the outlet of the water resulting in a lake which currently is 90 metres long, 80 metres wide and has water up to a depth of 1.5 metres,” Mr. Shukla said.

A short-term measure

With the rain receding, the authorities have declared the lake to be “harmless” and have ordered a short-term measure of widening the water outlet area. However, in the long-term the lake could pose great danger to the downstream regions.

“According to the current situation [when no more heavy rain is expected in the region this year] the lake poses no threat to the lives of the people living downstream of the lake formation.”

However, if the lake breaches this season the constructions by BRO would be damaged, Mr. Shukla said.

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Printable version | Oct 18, 2021 11:13:12 AM |

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