Hydropower projects triggered 2013 Uttarakhand floods: Govt tells SC

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New Delhi, Dec 9: After much dillydallying, the Centre, for the first time, admitted that 2013 Uttarakhand floods were a man made disaster. The Centre in an affidavit filed at Supreme Court admitted that hydropower projects played "direct and indirect role in triggering flash floods and landslides that claimed more than 7000 lives."

U'khand floods were man made: Govt to SC
Uttarakhand government officials admitted that while more than 7,000 people had died or went missing, never to be found, in the June 16-17 calamity last year, ex-gratia has been given to only 4,000-odd.

As per a report published in the Indian Express, filing its affidavit in the Supreme Court on Monday, the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) conceded that "the maximum damage sites in the disaster affected areas (were) located either upstream or immediately downstream" from these projects. The government also told the court that the projects caused "irreversible damage" to the environment and enhanced landslides and other disasters.

Three months after hell broke loose in Uttarakhand, causing flash floods and landslides, the state government released the final list of people who were untraceable; 4,083 of them in total.

Out of this 4,083, 2,293 are men, 1,367 are women and 423 are children. Among the missing ones, 92 Nepalese citizens were also missing. The list, however, does not have any information about missing persons from other countries apart from Nepal.

According to an official, the foreign ministry has received queries from the US embassy regarding two missing NRIs and is looking into the matter. The list has been authenticated by all states and disaster management will begin the process of issuing death certificates to the family members of those missing.

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