BRO DG visits Joshimath to take stock of damages due to GLOF

TEZPUR, 14 Feb: Border Roads Organization (BRO) Director General (DG) Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhry on Sunday visited Joshimath sector to take stock of the ongoing rescue, relief and rehabilitation works being carried out by the BRO in the aftermath of damages that took place due to glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district on 7 February, a defence release said.

The GLOF triggered an avalanche and deluge that washed away hydroelectric stations and trapped many workers. The GLOF in the Rishiganga River also washed away a 90 mtr RCC bridge of BRO on Joshimath – Malari road near Raini Village. This bridge was the only link to Niti border, Tezpur-based Defence PRO Lt Col Harsh Wardhan Pande said in a release.

The BRO has quickly swung into action for rescue and rehabilitation work by inducting more than 100 vehicles equipments and plants, including 15 heavy earth moving equipments. It has   also air inducted critical equipments with the help of Indian Air Force, Chaudhry said.

The BRO DG also informed that 20 teams of the 21 BRTF under Project Shivalik have been deployed for rescue and rehabilitation purposes.

“After initial recce, the BRO started work for re-establishing connectivity on all required fronts. The site was very challenging due to steep cliff on far bank and 25-30 mtr high debris/ muck on the other side, however, BRO has overcome these challenges and construction of abutment on the far bank has been completed and work on the home bank is progressing on war footing, Bailey bridge components are being sourced from various locations,” he said.

While commending the hard work and sincere efforts being put in by team Shivalik, the DG told that BRO is working round-the-clock under extreme weather conditions to re-establish connectivity at the earliest by launching a bailey bridge of 200 feet.

He also said that although the primary task of BRO is to ensure that lines of communication are through, BRO has also been playing a pivotal role in search and rescue operations to locate the missing persons.

“BRO has deployed four heavy duty machines and have been able to recover some bodies so far from Raini power house location,” he said and thanked the Uttarakhand government for providing support and assistance to BRO in accomplishing their task.