Jammu: A team of National Disaster Management Authority will reach Ladakh to formulate an action plan to respond to landslides and clear blockage of river Phuktal in Zanskar sub-division of Kargil.
The committee will reach Leh on February 8 and then proceed to the blockage site of Zanskar in Kargil district, an official spokesperson said.
"This was decided in a meeting held in National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on February 3," he said.
Earlier, Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra had asked the NDMA to constitute a multi-disciplinary expert group to evolve an action plan for dealing with the situation arising out of landslides and consequential blockage of river Phuktal in Zanskar sub-division.
On December 31 last, Phuktal suffered a blockade by a massive 200 feet high landslide dam, equivalent to the height of a 20-storey building.
VD Roy, Director CWC will be the team leader of the expert committee.
Deputy Commissioner Kargil shall be the Nodal Officer to conduct and liasion with the committee which would work out the modalities of mitigating the situation arising out of the blockage after physically visiting the site, he said.
The district administrations of Leh and Kargil have already taken various preventive measures, including stopping all movement of people on the Chadder trek between Chilling and Padum in the Ladakh region, and also cautioning people residing in the adjoining areas, he added.
A Raj Bhavan spokesperson said that following the governor's direction, the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir has made arrangements for airlifting of persons stranded due to stoppage of movement of people on the Chadar route.
The administrations of both the districts are working on detailed communication, rehabilitation and rescue plans.
On February 1, Deputy Commissioner Kargil G Prasanna Ramaswamy aerially surveyed the site of the massive landslide on the Tserab river near Shun village in Zanskar to assess the exact threat posed by the artificial dam and the 14-km long artificial reservoir formed in the wake of the landslide.
The aerial survey was also to prepare for the visit of the NDMA team.
Ramaswamy directed the Zanskar sub-divisional magistrate and the BSNL authorities to make sure that 24 hours emergency response centers at Padum and Phuktal, near the landslide site, are fully staffed and functional.
The SDM was also directed to prepare a fresh list of hamlets, villages likely to be affected in the eventuality of a complete breach of the artificial dam which is 50 metres high and 95 metres wide in light of the observations made by the EC, Zanskar Affairs.
The deputy commissioner also sought opinion of the Army and Air Force officers present in the meeting on emergency preparedness and called upon them to work in tandem with the civil administration to prepare for the emergency caused due to the landslide.
He suggested the constitution of an organisation of public representatives representing members of the civil society of Zanskar to coordinate with the civil administration during the sudden breach of the blockage in the river Tserab.
Kargil Deputy Commissioner assured the people of Zanskar that every possible action shall be taken by the administration to ensure safety of people.