INDIA. Chamoli, Uttarakhand: Was Chamoli disaster natural? It’s a big question, and Chief Minister, Uttarakhand recently said, “Scientists from ISRO, DRDO are trying to ascertain the exact cause. We still do not know what caused part of the Nanda Devi glacier to snap off on the fateful Sunday morning that sent floodwater surging downstream toward power plants and villages and took away scores of lives.”
“A DRDO team is already studying the cause of this tragedy and we have also sought the help of ISRO scientists and experts for the same,” the CM added.
Glaciers around the world were much larger in the past but because of climate change and global warming, they have been melting and shrinking dramatically. Also, Stone quarrying, blasting of mountains, and digging of tunnels in the base of the mountain system for dams and hydel projects also play havoc with the local ecology.
And while the glacial burst in the Chamoli could be nature’s way of telling humans that it can strike back when the ecological balance is destroyed, theories expressing human conspiracy is also not being ruled out.
But it also is a fact that the Uttarakhand glacier disaster has extensively damaged two large power projects – NTPC’s Tapovan-Vishnugad hydel project and the Rishi Ganga Hydel Project and these projects will now be certainly delayed. The tragedy has caused an estimated loss of INR 1,500 crore at the NTPC’s 480 MW Tapovan-Vishnugad hydel project and has put a question mark on its scheduled commissioning in 2023, Union Power Minister R K Singh said on Monday.
Also, scientists are still not able to digest that how could a glacier burst take place in winters?
As per environmentalists a breaking of a Glacier and Glacial Lake Outburst Flood(GLOF) – could not be a possible cause of this disaster when we look at the geographical area where the glacier broke off. The Tapovan area, located near Indo-China Border is surrounded by snow-covered mountains with temperatures ranging to minus 20 Celsius. Now the question is that how could glaciers melt in these climatic conditions or in an area with such freezing temperatures. Even Himalaya’s boundaries of glaciers are tightly bound at this time. The environmentalists are still not able to openly put the blame on environmental and development factors.
China’s interest behind this disaster
The theory making rounds and gaining strength rapidly is the involvement of China in this. It sounds very wired and strange that how a country’s hand is behind a natural calamity but with the advancing world of intelligence, arms, and military everything seems to be possible in direct or indirect ways and the possibility of China’s hand cannot be denied.
The question is – HOW?
There is a high possibility that China could have used some kind of laser-like technology to melt those glaciers as the glacier area is close to China’s border.
The major damage because of the disaster has been to the hydropower plants, and this directly points to China who has previously raised objections on these power projects. It can be a very well thought off plan to slow down India’s key power resources/infrastructure. And the world very well knows the capability of China in cloud seeding to increase the amount of rain over arid regions by firing silver iodide rockets into the sky.
Scientists monitoring glaciers and avalanches in the region are also surprised as they say glacier bursts do not take place in winters. They say, during winters, glaciers are formed as snow doesn’t melt due to the negative temperature, and glacier burst in this season is next to impossible. They claim to have not studied such an incident in the last 50 years. And, hence they say that the possibility of sabotage cannot be ruled out in the present case of Chamoli, Uttarakhand. Currently, a team of DRDO’S Defence Geoinformatics Research Establishment (DGRE) is studying and looking to pinpoint the exact cause of the glacier burst.
These are mere speculations from intelligence, strategic and defense point of view and the real picture and the cause is yet to be ascertained.