Uttarakhand irrigation minister Satpal Maharaj on Monday, February 15, said that the government would create a department to investigate and monitor the cause of the glacier burst that led to massive floods in the state.
"We are concerned over the way glaciers are melting and the tidal wave created in the mountains. The plutonium pack that was kept to monitor China's movement should also be investigated," The Mint quoted Maharaj as saying.
Maharaj also confirmed the safety of the railway projects in the area. "As the water in the Srinagar dam was depleted, the debris flowing to the dam came to a halt, keeping the railway projects safe," he said.
Speaking about a lost plutonium pack in the region, the minister said: "Orders were made to place plutonium packs to monitor China's movement at the borders. We request the government to investigate the pack too."
A plutonium pack was lost during the radar system's installation in 1965, around the summit of Nanda Devi mountain in Uttarakhand.
Many environmental experts raised concerns that if the glacier breaks in Chamoli caused any damage to the plutonium pack, it would lead to severe nuclear radiation pollution in the waters.
Earlier this week, scientists investigating the flood said that the incident took place after a glacier from a remote peak fell into the water, from a height of 5,600 meters.
The death toll in the incident reached 58 after 11 more bodies were found from Tapovan tunnel in Joshimath of the district. Reportedly, 146 people are yet to be found. The rescue operation is ongoing by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and other agencies.
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