Union cabinet secretary holds meet on J&K river blockade



The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), chaired by union cabinet secretary Ajit Kumar Seth, met Friday to discuss the report of the expert team on the blockade on Phuktal river in Kargil district of Jammu and Kashmir.

The NCMC meeting, in Delhi, approved an action plan to clear the blockage in Phuktal river that is a result of a massive landslide.

The NCMC reviewed the situation and approved the action plan to manually create a channel in the blockage to drain out the accumulated water from the lake in a regulated manner.

"Union Cabinet Secretary Ajit Kumar Seth today chaired the meeting of the NCMC to discuss the report on the Phuktal River blockade submitted by the expert team of the NDMA that conducted ground survey of the site, where artificial lake has been created on the river due to a massive landslide," an official statement issued in winter capital Jammu said Friday.

"J&K Chief Secretary Mohammad Iqbal Khanday and other senior officials of the state government participated in the meeting via video conferencing. Actionable solutions in view of the report submitted by the NDMA expert team were discussed by the Committee," the statement added.

It also said: "The Committee decided that an expert team will be deployed to the site to explore possibility of carrying out controlled blasting and manual work to allow channelised flow of water. NDMA as the Nodal Agency will coordinate the whole operation in tandem with other ministries including Home and Defence."

"Action Plan for evacuating people to safety, who are likely to be affected due to the operation, has already been finalised and the District Administration has made arrangements for their temporary accommodation. Meanwhile, constant aerial/satellite monitoring of the site is being done and data collected on daily/hourly basis," it added.

"The expert team to be deployed for the operation will be equipped with satellite phones and other assets for hassle free communication and operation," the statement said.

Due to a massive landslide last month, the flow of the Phuktal river in Kargil district was blocked resulting in the creation of an artificial lake that threatens hundreds of residents living downstream. - IANS