J&K: 4 dead, 6 injured in landslide at power plant
Four people lost their lives and at least six others were injured in back-to-back landslides near an under-construction hydropower plant in Jammu and Kashmir's (J&K) Kishtwar district on Saturday. The incident, as per authorities, took place when laborers and a JCB machine were working on a link road connecting the multi-crore Ratle Hydroelectric Project on River Chenab.
Why does this story matter?
- The accident is the second such incident in the past five months in the Chenab Valley, which includes districts of Kishtwar, Doda, and Ramban of J&K.
- The region that is witnessing construction as part of different mega projects is infamous for accidents as it houses the vulnerable Srinagar-Jammu National Highway that is now under expansion as major tunnels are being carved from giant mountains.
Two landslides in quick succession
"A big boulder being dug by the JCB engaged in the construction of the road rolled down and trapped laborers," Deputy Commissioner, Kishtwar, Devash Yadav, told Press Trust of India. Immediately after the incident was reported, a rescue team of six people was sent to the spot when another landslide hit the area, burying more people, including rescuers, as per officials.
Policeman, JCB operator killed
According to Yadav, a policeman and the JCB machine's operator died in the accident, along with two others. He said that six others were rescued from under the debris and have been admitted to different hospitals for necessary treatment. One of the injured persons has been shifted to Jammu for treatment. The JCB operator was identified as Manoj Kumar.
Union minister Jitendra Singh tweets on the incident
Just now spoke to DC #Kishtwar, Dr Devansh Yadav on receiving the report of a fatal landslide at the site of the under construction Ratle Power Project. The JCB driver unfortunately died on the spot. The rescue team of about 6 persons, deputed to— Dr Jitendra Singh (@DrJitendraSingh) October 29, 2022
Deeply anguished by mishap: J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha
Deeply anguished by mishap at Drabshalla- Ratle hydroelectric project. My thoughts are with those who have lost their loved ones. Prayers for early recovery of injured. Army,SDRF police are carrying out rescue operations. Dist Admin directed to provide all necessary assistance.— Office of LG JK (@OfficeOfLGJandK) October 29, 2022
The multi-crore power project
The construction of the multi-crore power project was started in Drabshalla village of Kishtwar district in J&K last year. The project is being developed at a cost of Rs. 5,282 crore on the Chenab River with an estimated generation of 850 megawatts of electricity. The project being developed by National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) is expected to be completed by the year 2026.
Tunnel collapse had left 10 dead in May
In a similar incident, at least 10 people died in a tunnel collapse in Ramban on May 20. The accident happened when a small portion of an under-construction tunnel on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway—the main link between landlocked Kashmir and other parts of the country—at Khoni Nallah collapsed. The rescue operations continued for over 40 hours as bad weather and landslides hampered the same.