Water in Tehri dam rises; 42 villages cut off

According to Tehri Hydro Development Corporation and district authorities, this is a routine occurrence

September 06, 2014 04:27 am | Updated September 07, 2014 08:06 pm IST - Dehradun

Hundreds of schoolchildren and office-goers on Friday crossed a bridge over the Tehri dam reservoir that was submerged in the reservoir water.

This was a routine exercise for the residents of 42 villages and several hamlets in Uttarkashi district’s Chinyalisaur region, which could continue till the water level in the reservoir receded below 815 ft.

The Devisaur bridge, which is located in the Chinyalisaur region, has been a cause of trouble for the villagers for years now. Uttarkashi District Magistrate C. Ravishankar said, “An alternative bridge was to be constructed at Chinyalisaur. The work started in the year 2011 and is stalled since then.”

The Tehri Hydro Development Corporation (THDC) and the district authorities take it as a routine occurrence. Tehri District Magistrate Yugal Kishore Pant said, “The bridge gets submerged every year when the water level raises.” The bridge is located at 815 metres above sea level and the water level in the reservoir was 817 ft on Friday.

According to a recent permission given by the State government, the THDC would be allowed to fill the reservoir to its full limit of 830 ft.

When the water level in the reservoir reach the full limit, the locals have to take the alternative road route which would increase the distance to the places across the bridge by over 50 km, Mr. Pant said.

Mr. Ravishankar said, “We knew this was to happen so we had already supplied foodgrain for the locals. Instructions have been given to find out the condition of pregnant women and the sick in the cut off villages so that they can be brought to the hospitals in time.”

Mr. Ravishankar said three boats were provided for the residents to cross the reservoir.

However, according to the residents, the number was too low. Also, the boats operated between specified timings and with a limited number of people.

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