KOCHI l monday l February 08, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 30 l LATE city EDITION foreign plot to defame india’s tea-based image: Modi riled by chai in thunberg toolkit? During his poll campaign rally in the tea producing state’s Dhekiajuli on Sunday, Modi was apparently referring to activist Greta Thunberg’s controversial ‘toolkit’, wherein one of the action points was to ‘disrupt yoga and chai image of India’. The other target perhaps was a Greenpeace study in 2014 that claimed Assam tea growers overused pesticides The prime minister says international forces are trying to attack India’s tea-based identity, but did not name anyone Centre Reaching out to farmers ■ ■ Assam’s happiness and progress are its tea gardens. Who knows the taste of Assam tea better than me? That’s why I always see the progress of tea workers with the progress of Assam, he said Reaching out to the tea workers, he said the Centre has alloted D1,000 crore for the sector in the budget to uplift their lot A584 crore given to 7.5 lakh by assam govt under a scheme for tea workers CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI At least 10 dead, up to 150 missing in Himalayan glacier break Five bridges washed away, 17 villages totally cut off after a portion of Nanda Devi glacier breaks off; flash floods destroy a couple of power plants in Uttarakhand Vineet U pad h yay @ Chamoli A glacier break that swept into the Rishiganga and Dhauliganga rivers in Reni and Tapovan villages, 26 km from Joshimath in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district, triggered a massive flood and claimed at least 10 lives on Sunday. The number of casualties can rise because nearly 125-150 labourers working at a power project in Tapovan-Reni are missing. Disaster struck around 10 am. A total of 17 villages got totally cut off as five bridges were washed away Residents of seven of these moved . to safer places. People of the 10 other villages are being provided help, said officials. Damages were reported at Tapovan dam on Alaknanda river, while the 13.2 megawatt Rishiganga hydropower project was completely swept away. Around 176 workers were working on these projects. Close to 250 personnel from the National Disaster Response Force, State Disaster Response Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Indian Army and Indian Air Force joined the rescue work, said Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat. The state government has announced `4 lakh each for the families of the deceased. “All our efforts are focused on reaching people and providing relief. Our brave forces are doing their job and we have support from the whole nation. Essential items, medicines, choppers of Indian Army, Air Force and state government are on standby the CM added. ,” The labourers missing are mostly from the state. Some are from Nepal and western UP. ITBP rescued 16 people trapped in a tunnel of a dam which is a part of the hydroproject. Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to RaContinued on: P9 wat and assured all help. Major natural disasters Dhauliganga hydropower project in Chamoli district 1991 6.8 quake in undivided UP in October 1991 killed over 760 people, thousands of houses destroyed 1998 Malpa village in Pithoragarh district destroyed in landslide; 255 people, including 55 Kailash pilgrims, killed 1999 6.8 quake hit Chamoli district killing over 100 people. Rudraprayag district, too, affected C ha m o l i ca l a m i t y 1 Part of Nanda Devi glacier breaks off Uttarakhand india 2 Bridge across the mountains destroyed Rishiganga merges with Dhauliganga river Chamoli disaster rings the global warming alarm bell E x p r ess N e w s S e r v ice @ Dehradun Rishiganga River 3 5 Raini Chak Lata 1,388 m 4 Dhauliganga River Record water level at 11 am in Joshimath area Rescuing of labourers from Tapovan tunnel Scary roar out of nowhere from the hills E x p r ess ne w s S e r v ice @ Dehradun At Reni village that is at the epicentre of the tragedy Sand, eep Nautiyal was lazing around on a bright and sunny Sunday when he heard a big roar from the hills. He looked around and spotted the horrible avalanche menacingly approaching at least 5 km away . His first instinct was to rush out of his house and alert fellow villagers to flee, shouting ‘Bhago Bhago’. “Suddenly we heard a mix of a roar and a slight tremor. We saw this huge wave coming down the mountains washing off everything in its way said Nautiyal. ,” The village of 300-odd people EXPRESS READ Malappuram: In a worrying development, 187 students and 78 staff of Maranchery Government Higher Secondary School and Vannery Higher Secondary School in Perumbadappu panchayat in Malappuram tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday. District Medical Officer K Sakeena said the health department has taken measures to stop the virus spread in the two schools and surrounding areas. P5 Rishiganga power plant in Reni swept away The 480 MW NTPC hydel project over Dhauliganga at Tapovan that was extensively damaged | PTI 2013 Cloudbursts in June 2013 in Uttarakhand caused massive floods and landslides. 5,700+ killed; over 3 lakh pilgrims trapped for weeks 265 in two Malappuram schools test +ve More backdoor appointments Kochi: Amid the controversy surrounding the appointment of former MP M B Rajesh’s wife at Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit at Kalady, two more complaints of backdoor appointments in the varsity have surfaced. However, the vice-chancellor has refuted the charges. P4 WITH THIS ISSUE THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST YOUR LIFE COACH 30 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID) located near the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve mostly has shepherds, farmers and workers. “Landslides during monsoon are common, but this avalanche in winter is shocking,” said Shankar Rana, another resident. At least five locals are feared missing and 180 sheep and goat were swept away by the flash floods. It was a glacial break alright, but the jury is still out on how and why it actually happened. However, the mismatch between the haste in commissioning projects in the ecologically-fragile zone and the need to fortify mitigation mechanism suggests it was a disaster waiting to happen. Experts blame it on the lessons not learnt by successive governments, given Uttarakhand’s history of natural disasters. A former glaciologist at Dehradun’s Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, D P Dobhal, called for a detailed probe. “Lake formation must have happened, which breached today and caused the floods,” Dobhal said, adding that heavy sediments in the floodwater indicate an avalanche or glacial debris could have triggered the burst. “It will take time to ascertain the reasons as had happened with the 2013 disaster in Kedarnath. After investigation it was confirmed to be a glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF),” said Dobhal. The possibility of the incident being GLOF has rung alarm bells among the glaciologists. Given that it occurred in winter, it would signal that global warming was a major contributing factor. In 2014, a high-powered committee, constituted by the Supreme Court, led by Ravi Chopra, had recommended scrapping of 23 out of 24 hydel projects slated for construction above an altitude of 2,000 metres in the aftermath of the 2013 floods. “We submitted a report warning against constructing hydel projects at an altitude above 2,000 metres, noting various vulnerabilities which could result in a major disaster. Altitude above 2,000 metres is para glacial region, where heavy constructions should be avoided,” he said. But the recommendation was not acted upon, said activist Aakash P9 Vashishta.
Express Network Private Limited publishes thirty three E-paper editions of The New Indian Express newspaper , thirty two E-paper editions of Dinamani, one E-paper edition of The Morning Standard, one E-paper edition of Malayalam Vaarika magazine and one E-paper edition of the Indulge - The Morning Standard, Kolkatta.