Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhry, DG, Border Roads Organisation (BRO), visited Joshimath sector to take stock of the ongoing rescue, relief and rehabilitation works being carried out by the BRO in the aftermath of damages that took place due to glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district on 7 February, which triggered an avalanche and deluge that washed away hydroelectric stations and trapped some workers. The GLOF in the Rishiganga River also washed away a 90m RCC bridge of BRO on Joshimath-Malari road near Raini village. This bridge was the only link to Niti border.
The DG said, “BRO, true to its motto ‘Shramena Sarvam Sadhaym’, has quickly swung into action for rescue and rehabilitation work by inducting more than 100 vehicles/equipment and plants which include about 15 Heavy Earth Moving equipment like hydraulic excavators, dozers, JCBs, wheel loaders etc. BRO has also air-inducted critical equipment with the help of Indian Air Force. Almost 20 teams of 21 BRTF under Project Shivalik have been deployed for rescue and rehabilitation purposes. After initial reccee, BRO started work for re-establishing connectivity on all required fronts. The site was very challenging due to steep cliff on far bank and 25-30 meters high debris/ muck on the other side, however, BRO has overcome these challenges and construction of abutment on the far bank has been completed and work on the home bank is progressing on war footing, Bailey bridge components are being sourced from various locations.”
While lauding the hard work and sincere efforts being put in by team Shivalik, Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhry said that BRO is working round the clock under extreme weather conditions to re-establish connectivity at the earliest by launching a bailey bridge of 200 feet. He also said that although the primary task of BRO is to ensure that lines of communication are through, it has also been playing a pivotal role in search and rescue operations to locate the missing persons. Towards this, BRO has deployed four heavy duty machines and have been able to recover some bodies so far from Raini power house location. BRO is working in close coordination with the State Government. He also thanked the state government for providing support and assistance to BRO in accomplishing their task.