Uttarakhand - Natural Disaster

In June 2013, a heavy flood centers Uttarakhand

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About the disaster!!!!!

In June 2013, a multi-day cloudburst centered on the North Indian state of Uttarakhand caused devastating floods and landslides in the country's worst natural disaster since the 2004 tsunami. Though some parts of Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh in India experienced the flood, some regions of Western Nepal, and some parts of Western Tibet also experienced heavy rainfall, over 95% of the casualties occurred in Uttarakhand. As of 16 July 2013, according to figures provided by the Uttarakhand government, more than 5,700 people were "presumed dead.” This total included 934 local residents.

Reasons for the flood............

(1) Unplanned development is destroying the ecology of the mountains

None of the environmental laws are implemented in ecologically fragile areas in India and the development is going unabated.

(2) Exponential increase in the number of vehicles

As per data shared by the Uttarakhand State Transport Department, in 2005-06, 83,000-odd vehicles were registered in the state. The figure rose to nearly 180,000 in 2012-13.

(3) Change in the day-and-night temperature

During the 1960s, the day and night temperature on mountains was the same. But in the last decade, the day temperature has increased considerably as compared to the night temperature thus building the situation of cloud bursting and flash floods.

(4) Insufficient resources

The Badrinath-Kedarnath temple administration committee receives Rs. 165 crores every year as donation from devotees. But the committee says that they neither have the resources nor the manpower.

(5) Absence of tourism management

The Govt. of Uttarakhand spends Rs. 70 crores every year (as per books) in order to manage tourism in Uttarakhand. In 2012, an additional relief fund of Rs. 23.4 crores has also been set aside. Despite this, you will not find even a single clean toilet here.

(6) Non-existent governing authority

No governing authority has been set up to manage pilgrim tourists visiting “char dham”. There is not even a Nodal Officer who can monitor the yatra arrangements

(7) No crowd management

There is a permit system in Amarnath and Mansarovar yatras. Even for Vaishno Devi trip, there is a crowd management in place. But, there is no such system here.

(8) Reduction in forest cover

The forest cover in Uttarakhand in 1970 was 84.9%. This got reduced to 75.4% in 2000.

(9) Inaccurate and incomplete prediction by the Met department

Monitoring, forecasting, and early-warning systems in the Met department are very poor in the whole of India and Uttarakhand specifically. This department is in dire need of more investment.

Kedarnath Temple

The Kedarnath valley, along with other parts of the state of Uttarakhand, was hit with unprecedented flash floods on 16 and 17 June 2013. On June 16, 2013, at about 7:30 p.m. a landslide and mudslides occurred near Kedarnath Temple with loud peals of thunder. An enormously loud peal was heard and huge amount of waters started gushing from Chorabari Tal or Gandhi Tal down Mandakini river at about 8:30 p.m. washing everything away in its path. The next day on the 17th of June, 2013 at about 6:40 a.m. in the morning waters again started cascading at a huge speed from river Swaraswati and Chorabari Tal or Gandhi Tal bringing along with its flow huge amount of silt, rocks and boulders. A huge boulder got stuck behind Baba Kedarnath Temple and protected it from the ravages of the flood's fury. The flood waters gushed on both the sides of the temple destroying everything in their path.

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Steps taken by the government.....

1. Uttar Pradesh Government-25crore.

2. Haryana, Maharashtra,Delhi-10 crore each.

3. Tamil Nadu, Orrisa, Madhya Pradesh, Chhatissgarh-5 crore each.

4. The US Ambassador to India extended a financial help of USD $150,000 through the United States Agency.

5.US announced that US will provide further financial aid of USD $75,000 core.