Answer by Amol Ramesh Kadu:
The name doesn't ring a bell.
IN Ladakh's Zanskar Valley, river Phutkal runs majestically. January saw a major landslide in the river, causing complete blockage of water in the river. Water had no path to flow, and it accumulated. By March, it swell to 30 MILLION cubic meter. The pressure of incoming water would have anytime burst the lanslide, submerged villages, and would have caused enormous loss of precious lives.
Indian ARMY, AIR Force, NDMA and District Administration came together to create an artificial channel for water to escape. The challenges were many. The temperature was -25 deg c. Cold chilly wind was blowing all the while. All road communication was cut off. It took around 500 helicopter rides to airlift the tonnes of material required for blasting.
Using 175 kg of explosives, braving the absolutely bad weather, and keeping in mind that the clock was ticking, the soldiers worked day in -day out, for five days..
At the end of which Water finally started gushing across the landslide in an uninterrupted manner from the lake formed, through a man made channel 75m long , 2m deep and 2m wide.
Operation Phutkal was successful.
It grabbed no headlines, no major TV channel thought it wise to cover.
Maybe because, again we AVERTED a calamity.
We DID NOT LET IT happen. So it did not
cause any ripples. None in mainstream media.
No food for our calamity hungry mindset which feeds on bad news.
We were too busy brooding over India's
premature exit from world cup then. But as usual our Services made INDIA PROUD.
Edit: Thank you all for the tremendous response. I guess Quora readers would be interested in knowing the updates. The man made channel was at max, a temporary measure undertaken. However, eventually, the force of 30 million cubic meters of water was going to over weigh. SO it happened. The temporary lake burst a few days ago, but the good news is what could have been a catastrophe a few months before has happened now, and impact has already been mitigated. No human losses are reported. The news item in Indian Express gives a chilling idea of what was in store if NDMA and Air force hadnt braved the life and attempted Operation Phuktal.