Uttarakhand: one year after the disaster

Published: Monday 16 June 2014

Uttarakhand government has carried out rehabilitation projects only in tourist circles and ignored other areas that were hit by floods last year
Author: Soma Basu
More than a year after Uttarakhand witnessed one of the worst natural disasters in the country, several flood-hit areas in the state are still waiting for government assistance. One such village is Sumdum in Pithoragarh district. The 120-odd families there live in the fear that floods will strike again this monsoon—and this time completely wipe out the village. Sumdum, which falls in Dharchula subdivision, is surrounded by snow-capped mountains and two streams, Ragyani Gad and Khari Gad.
Met department has not learnt lessons from the Uttarakhand tragedy. It remains ill-equipped
Author: Kundan Pandey
It is nearly a year since Uttarakhand witnessed one of the worst natural calamities in Indian history due to sudden cloudbursts and flash floods. On June 17, the state received 340 mm rainfall, an astounding 375 per cent above the daily normal rain during monsoons. Residents and tourists in Badrinath got no time to move to safe areas, which resulted in loss of thousands of lives and property. The state government was charged with being too slow in rescuing and relocating people. When chief minister Vijay Bahuguna resigned owning responsibility for the administrative failure, he also accused the India Meteorological Department (IMD) of failing to warn the state government of the impending danger.
Managers of Alaknanda, Vishnuprayag and Dhauliganga hydroelectric projects dump construction debris and silt in riverbed and hill slopes
Author: Soma Basu
A Supreme Court-appointed panel had clearly blamed hydropower projects for the Uttarakhand disaster last year. But managers of these projects continue violate environment norms by mishandling the muck and debris lying at the project sites. A group of 12 civil society groups had written to the Union environment ministry in July, 2013, seeking suspension of environment clearance of six hydropower projects. The letter said irresponsible handling of the muck generated from the project sites had greatly damaged villages and towns downstream of rivers and that the damage would have been much less severe if the debris had not been dumped on the riverbed.
Lakhwar-Vyasi project cleared by Centre this year is a violation of Supreme Court order, says expert
Author: Soma Basu
The Uttarakhand government is pushing for more hydropower projects in the state even through a Supreme Court-appointed panel of experts blamed existing hydel power projects in the state for the Uttarakhand flood disaster of 2013. The panel has sought complete overhaul of the environment clearance mechanism for such projects. The state government has even managed to obtain clearance for the Lakhwar Vyasi hydropower project in the Yamuna valley that was stalled for several years.
In pics and documents
Photo Gallery
People in devastated areas of the hill state are yet to be rehabilitated and fear losing what little they have as monsoon approaches
Reports by DTE correspondents from ground zero as the disaster unfolded
In court
Green tribunal and the Supreme Court gave specific directions with regard to hydropower projects that caused much havoc
From India Environment Portal
Reports include studies of cumulative and individual impacts of dams on river and mountain ecosystems
Have benefits reached people who lost their belongings in last years' disaster? A reality check
Survivors of the Uttarakhand flash floods share hair-raising tales of their ordeal
Three months after the disaster, Down To Earth revisited the devastated regions of the state to report the Himalayan challenge of rehabilitation
DTE reports from ground zero
Story in images


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