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Monday, 24 Jun 2013
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Uttarakhand Infrastructure Ravaged by Natural Disaster


Uttarakhand was struck with disaster in mid June, due to the merciless cloudburst and subsequent flash floods which ravaged the state.  The disaster laid waste to over 40,000 sq km as the three major rivers of state — Ganga, Alaknanda and Bhagirath swallowed a major chunk of the states’ vital roads and infrastructure, and took with them a number of buildings built on the banks of these rivers, which were meant to serve as hotels/hostels for crores of piligrims.


According to the latest reports, around 147 bridges and 1,307 roads in Uttarakhand have been damaged in the floods.

Road Projects in Uttarakhand_ProjectsToday

At least 50 major landslides occurred at four stretches - Rudraprayag-Gaurikund, Rishikesh-Joshimath-Mana, Rishikesh- Dharasu-Gangotri and Pithoragarh-Ghatiabgarh leading to 40 major formation breaches.


Uttarakhand has over 34,000 km of road network. Out of this, over 2,100 km is NH while the length of state highways is at least 1,600 km. Almost all NHs and state highways in the Garhwal region have been damaged due to major landslides, submergence and damages.


  Projects Investment in Uttarakhand by Sector_ProjectsToday

To meet the increased demand of visiting pilgrims, the state had undertaken development of a number of road projects. As of March 2013, Uttarakhand had about 220 road projects under various stages of implementation at a total cost of Rs 3,438.28 crore.


In February 2013, the Ministry of Rural Development had sanctioned 118 roads and 8 bridges of 1,140 km in all, at a total cost of Rs 472 crore for Uttarakhand.


Following the recent mass destruction, the Union Rural Development Minister, Jairam Ramesh announced a separate special package of Rs 340 crore for Uttarakhand to construct village roads in the flood-ravaged hill state. A total of 82 roads and 27 bridges of 664 km are being considered by the ministry. This programme will be implemented in the next 18 months.


Uttarakhand public works department, which owns the state highways, connecting district headquarters, has also sought Rs 30 crore from the Centre to restore and rebuild the road stretches damaged by the floods in the state.


Besides, a portion of the Rs 1,000 crore assistance announced by the prime minister will also be spent mostly on building roads.


It is estimated that restoration of the infrastructure itself will take around 2-3 years in Uttarakhand.


Hydel power generation interrupted


Uttarakhand is bestowed with high hydropower development scope. The total hydropower generation potential of the state is estimated at 20GW. As of June 2013, 96 hydropower projects were under various stages of implementation. Some of the environmentalists have attributed this year’s devastating floods to the hydropower projects coming up in the state and have asked for a review of the same.


The massive floods and landslides damaged a series of under construction projects on the Mandakini river in Rudraprayag district. Larsen & Toubro’s 99 MW Singholi Bhatwari project and Lanco group’s 76 MW Phata Byung project suffered damages.


State-run Uttarakhand Jal Vidyut Nigam’s (UJVNL), 6 MW Kaliganga-I and 4 MW Kaliganga-II projects were also hit by mudslides.


Uttarakhand on the road to recovery


Till 18 June 2013, Uttarakhand received 385.1 mm of rainfall which is 440 per cent more than the normal 71.33 mm.


As stated by Uttarakhand Chief Minister, Vijay Bahuguna, many bridges, houses, water lines, canals, check dams, electricity lines, power houses and other public and private property have been severely damaged.


Rudraprayag district has been the most affected in Uttarakhand. With the flooding of the Mandakini river over 26 bridges were washed away. A host of hydro projects, being constructed on Mandakini near the Kedarnath shrine area suffered heavy damages due to the high level of silt in the water.


According to the state officials, most of the government and private hotels, lodges and shops around the Kedarnath temple have been flattened by the landslides.


Along with repairing the roads and bridges, the complete redevelopment of the flood- affected cities will take a couple of years. It is estimated that an amount of Rs 10,000 crore will require to restore the lost infrastructure in the four affected districts - Rudraprayag, Chamoli, Uttarkashi and Pithorgarh.


While it is true that man cannot fight the fury of nature, keeping in mind the crore of pilgrims visiting the state every year, the state administration should have taken a few precautionary measures that would have resulted in a minimal death loss.


Manufacturing Sector Developments


  • BPCL is planning to set up a petrochemical plant near its crude oil refinery in Kochi, Kerala
  • Roselabs Bioscience and Roselabs Polymers has invested Rs 400 crore in setting up the pre-filled syringe (PFS) making facility in Ahmedabad, Gujarat
  • New Holland Fiat India plans to invest Rs 1,100 crore in India
  • NanoCoat Chemtech will invest around Rs 20 crore for capacity expansion
  • Tata Coffee commissioned its premium coffee extraction plant at its Instant Coffee manufacturing facility in Theni, Tamil Nadu


Infrastructure Sector Developments


  • Ircon International has invited bids for construction of tunnel T-49 for J&K Rail Link project in the state
  • The government of Kerala has signed a pact with World Bank for $ 216 million (approx Rs 1,268.78 crore) loan for Kerala State Transport Project
  • Jaipur Metro Rail Corporation (JMRC), has invited bids for Jaipur Metro (Phase-1B) at Jaipur in Rajasthan
  • The Government of Madhya Pradesh has proposed two industrial infrastructure projects for which it has sought Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC), approval
  • Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group is planning to launch 38 new hotels in India by 2015


Power Sector Developments


  • Reliance Utilities & Power (RUPL), is planning to set up power plants in Gujarat
  • NTPC has acquired possession of 1,205 acre of private land for 1,600 MW super thermal power plant at Darlipalli, Sundergarh district of Odisha
  • Foundation stone laid for Suratgarh Power Station in Sriganganagar district of Rajasthan
  • North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO), is planning to set up a solar power plant at Monarchak, Sonamura Sub-Division of Tripura
  • BHEL has received a renovation and modernisation contract from MAHAGENCO, for thermal power unit in Maharashtra


FDI Developments


  • The Central Government approved FDI proposals worth Rs 1,647 crore

Quote of the week:


Vijay Bahuguna_ProjectsToday

"The tragedy is huge and damages tremendous with vast tracts of land still submerged under tonnes of debris ... The casualties must run into several hundreds"

Vijay Bahuguna,
Chief Minister of Uttarakhand


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