An avalanche in the Indian state of Uttarakhand on Sunday has damaged the 520MW Tapovan Vishnugad project owned by NTPC and the privately-owned 13.2MW Rishiganga project.

Hundreds of workers at the two hydro power projects are feared to have been trapped by the resulting flash floods and some of them trapped inside the associated hydropower tunnels.

The Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and the Indian Air Force (IAF) have been deployed to undertake the search and rescue operations, The Press Trust of India reported.

According to Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, 140 workers were missing at the Tapovan Vishnugad site, while 17 were missing at the Rishiganga project location.

Some of the trapped workers have been rescued by the ITBP.

The Uttarakhand tragedy was caused by a glacial lake outburst flood near the Chamoli district. It flooded the Alaknanda and Dhauliganga rivers.

The Rishiganga project located in the Raini village, and built along the Rishiganga River, a tributary to Dhauliganga, was washed away completely.

On the other hand, the Tapovan Vishnugad hydro project, which is under construction, was partly damaged. Tapovan Vishnugad is located nearly 5km from the Rishiganga project.

NTPC, in a stock exchange filing, stated: “While rescue operations are on, situation is being monitored continuously with the help of district administration and likely loss or damage caused is being assessed. Appropriate insurance cover is available for the loss/damage caused.

“However, considering the total size of operations of NTPC Limited (present standalone commercial capacity 51310 MW and group commercial capacity 63925 MW), the impact of above event on the company as a whole may not be considered material in terms of Para B of Part A of Schedule III of SEBI (LODR), Regulations, 2015.”