A total of 15 deaths have been confirmed, six are missing and eight injured due to disaster following heavy rains in the Mori Tehsil of Uttarkashi district on Sunday. Visiting the affected area on Tuesday, Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat interacted with the affected people and announced Rs four lakh ex-gratia to family of each of the deceased while the medical expenses of the injured will be borne by the state. He also announced construction of four bridges in the affected area and establishment of a police post in Arakot.
Addressing the media after returning from the disaster affected area, Rawat said that a 70 square kilometre area in Kotigad valley of Uttarkashi district had been affected by the disaster. In addition to the human casualties, 17 homes had been destroyed, 115 buildings had been partially damaged and two motor bridges and two pedestrian bridges had been damaged. The damage caused by disaster in this region is estimated to be worth Rs 130 crore according to the initial estimate. The chief minister informed that Rs four lakh ex-gratia would be provided to each family of the deceased while the expense of medical treatment of the injured will be borne by the state government. Compensation for damage and loss of livestock will be paid as per the regulations. Additionally, since apple cultivation is a major source of livelihood in the disaster affected area, the government will also assist the cultivators in transporting their produce to the market.
A total of 300 personnel from various departments are involved in the search, rescue and relief efforts underway in the affected area. Further, 10 helipads are operational and four helicopters are being used for dropping relief materials and ferrying the seriously injured to Dehradun where needed. Nine heavy machines have been deployed to restore road links which are expected to be opened to traffic within a couple of days. All necessary relief materials have been sent to the affected areas. Rawat further informed that since June 15 this year, a total of 59 deaths had been caused by disaster while 12 persons are missing and 55 were injured in different parts of the state. Additionally, 62 large and 263 small domesticated animals died and 115 buildings were destroyed due to disaster in the state so far this year. The State Government had made a provision of Rs 320 crore for disaster related works this year and though some of this fund has been used, currently there is no need for central financial assistance.
Responding to a query, the chief minister said that people settling along rivers and mountain streams is a cause for concern. “In Tikochi, there are rivers on different sides and the settlement was established on top of debris from a past disaster. Such constructions are being done probably due to ignorance. We will undertake a special awareness campaign to discourage people from settling in such danger zones. We will also seek suggestions from geologists,” he said, while adding that currently the main focus is on rescue and relief.
Later the CM also visited the State Emergency Operation Centre where he directed officials to maintain effective coordination with all districts. He also discussed the status of disaster in detail with officials concerned. Expressing satisfaction at swift response to the recent disaster in Uttarkashi, he stressed that officials should remain alert at all times.