According to the reports, the Northeast state of India, Sikkim was hit by a flash flood in which at least 30 people lost their lives. During the flash flood in Sikkim, the Chungthang dam collapsed raising the toll. For the unversed, the Chungthang dam is the source of a hydropower plant. But it collapsed last week on October 4. It raised concerns about dams built in the country. Other states also have witnessed catastrophic collapses of the dams in the past leading the landslides and floods. Now a question is popping up How safe are dams in India. In this article, we have discussed whether dams are susceptible to natural calamities or not. If you are scrambling to the internet regarding the same, keep reading this article.
Around 1 am on October 4, 2023, the Chungthang dam collapsed causing major floods and landslides in the state. The flood quickly spread to the other districts to cause more damage to the infrastructure of the state. Reportedly, the reason for the flood was the outburst of a glacial lake that caused a catastrophic flood in the South Lhonak Lake in North Sikkim.
The flash floods disrupted communication networks in the Mangan and Chungthang districts. Reportedly, the districts started evacuations in vulnerable areas in response to the flash flood situation. Reportedly, besides many civilians of Sikkim 23 Army personnel also went missing. The collapse of the Chungthang Hydro-Dam which is the source of an energy plant, sent shattering waves through the region and raised concerns about people’s safety. Kindly note that the dam is an integral part of the 1200 MW mega Teesta Stage III Hydro Electric Project. It was developed by Teesta Urja. Chungthang Dam has a net head of 778 meters and a gross head of 817 meters.
The dams in India are vulnerable they can not sustain the natural calamities causing floods and landslides. The susceptibility of a dam depends on its age, the quality of construction, and the climate adaptation. Talking about the Chungthang dam of Sikkim, it collapsed due to the cloudburst of a glacial lake. Reportedly, the Chungthang Dam is 20 years old. Over the years, several environmental concerns were raised about the formation of glacial lakes. Following the tragedy that occurred in Sikkim, the Union government stated it would do an assessment of the dam after the flood waters recede. Stay tuned to this website for more details and further updates.