Kedarnath valley type tragedy could hit Badrinath

BadrinathDehra dun : With fears that a Kedarnath-valley type tragedy could hit the Badrinath valley of Uttarakhand the state government has declared a high alert in the region of the Badrinath shrine and the Chamoli district authorities have warned the people of an impending disaster and asked them to move to safer areas.

With reports that satellite pictures had shown that water levels was increasing at an alarming rate in the Satopanth lake, about 20 kms away from the Badrinatn shrine in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, the state government has issued an alert and asked the district authorities of Chamoli to sound a warning and ask the people to move to safer areas.

Satopanth, which is said to be a moraine lake in the upper reaches of Badrinath, considered to be one of the most sacred temples in the country and one of the four shrines falling in the char dham yatra, is seeing alarming rate of rise in water levels. With heavy rains having been forecast in its catchment areas and in the upper districts of the state, there are fears that the increased water levels could cause the lake to burst.

Official sources that they were not taking chances and an all out alert had been sounded. One must not forget that it was because of the heavy rains that the lake above the Kedarnath shrine burst causing the water to raise the levels of the Mandakini and creating unheard of floods in the region, which created the worst-ever tragedy in living memory of uttarakhand.

They said that should the heavy rains again cause the Satopanth lake to breach it will cause the water level of the Alaknanda river, which flows adjoining the Badrinath temple to rise heavily and create almost similar circumstances that caused the Kedarnath tragedy of June 16, under which the state is still reeling.

It may be mentioned here that while Kedranth is a 14 kms trek from Gauri Kund, Badrinath is almost situated on the road head and a township has grown around the temple over the years to cater to the lakhs of tourists that come every year for ‘darshan’. As it is comparatively easier to reach the shrine dedicated to Lord Vishnu, a large number of devotees come here and many of them stay overnight to participate in the morning a’aarti’ and ‘puja’.

A journalist with over 40 years of experience, Jagdish Bhatt is Editor Hill Post (Uttarakhand). Jagdish has worked with India's leading English dailies, which include Times of India, Indian Express, Pioneer and several other reputed publications. A highly acclaimed journalist, Jagdish is a recipient of many awards, latest being the 2011 Development Journalism Award. He lives in Dehra Dun.

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1 Comment

  1. says: shambhu

    Actually the alert was not regarding Satopanth lake at all,it was about a reservoir forming on the Alaknanda river due to landslide debris restricting the river’s flow. This reservoir is not the Satopanth lake. The district administration had already ascertained that the debris had not blocked flow of water in the river seriously enough to pose a disaster threat…

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