Phutkal Breach: Situation Under Control, Say Officials

8 May 2015
Greater Kashmir

Srinagar: Day after a lake burst in Zanskar area of Kargil district triggered flashfloods and panic, officials Friday said the consequent situation is 'under control' and people are returning to their homes. The Phutkallake burst in the wee hours on Thursday, triggering flashfloods that washed away seven bridges and damaging a school. 'The situation is normal in the area today,' said Deputy Commissioner Kargil, Hassan Khan. 'People who had left their houses yesterday are returning back to their dwellings.' Khan said the water level is receding. 'The threat is over,' he told Greater Kashmir. Meanwhile, a team of ministers and officials Friday took stock of damage in Zanskar and leh due to bursting of Phutkallake, an official spokesman said. The team comprised Minister for PHE, SukhnandanChowdhary, Minister for Cooperative, ChheringDorjey, Chairman State Legislative Council, Haji Anayat Ali and Vice Chairman, Khadi& Village Industry Board, Syed Bakir Rizvi. 'Experts of NDMA comprising Joint Advisor Dhirendra Singh Sindhu and Chief Geologist, NHPC, B D Patni-while briefing the state team-said they have carried out aerial inspection of river Phutkal landslide site on Friday again and observed that the water level is gradually reducing as it is passing through the artificial channel which has deepened and widened now,' the spokesman said. 'The NDMA team said they were expecting the breach in the 14-km long lake and were monitoring the situation round-the-clock. They further said that there seems no cause of worry as maximum water is now drained out and a small volume of water is left in a length of 4-5 kms of the lake.' Addressing a press conference, Dorje said the Government would give 'additional money to both Hill Councils of Leh and Kargil to restore the damaged infrastructure and also initiate necessary measures for rehabilitation of families who suffered in Lungnak area of Zanskar.' The Minister claimed the breach in Phuktallake took place 'almost according to the plans of the NDMA team.' He said 12 bridges in Lungnak valley have been washed away apart from newly-installed steel bridges of Nyaraks and Chilling-Kaya inLeh district. Dorje said Chilling-Kaya bridge was the lifeline for entire Skyu-Markha valley. Chairman Legislative Council Haji Inayat Ali said Zanskar has comparatively suffered more and top priority should be given for early restoration of road connectivity in Lungnak.