SRINAGAR:After SoS calls from the Jammu and Kashmir Governor and a BJP MP about the threat posed by a river blockade in Ladakh, an expert team of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) will on Sunday inspect the area where a landslide dam blocked the Phuktal tributary of the Indus and created an artificial lake.
On December 31,2014 the Phuktal suffered a blockade by a massive 200-ft-high landslide dam, as high as a 20-storey building, at Zanaskar in Kargil district.
The landslide struck between Shaday Sumdo and Mar Shun in Zanskar and created an eight-km-long artificial lake, which keeps expanding. The dam is made mostly of fine-grained debris.
Officials said the landslide dam had been blocking 97 percent of the flow of around 50 cusecs of water.
“The area presently is witnessing a temperature of minus 30 degree Celsius and there is no immediate threat. However, the threat will increase when the temperature rises,” a local resident said. The residents said the frozen artificial lake had become a threat to at least four villages which have a total population of around 4,000 people. Zanskar is about 13,154 ft above the sea level and a favourite trekking spot.
After the Kargil Deputy Commissioner warned that 29 villages in the district would be affected in the event of a sudden bursting of the stored water from the lake, Kashmir Divisional Commissioner Rohit Kansal and IG Abdul Gani Mir visited the area. The officials also prepared a report and sent it to the NDMA. The administration has asked people living in the danger zones to take precautionary measures. “We have prepared a rehabilitation plan for the inhabitants of these areas,” an official said.