Chandigarh, June 28, 2013: As part of the ongoing efforts of the Punjab Government in rescue and relief efforts in Uttarakhand, a 13-member mountaineering squad of the Punjab Police had been deputed to the affected area of Uttarakhand on June 23, 2013, to assist the pilgrims, who had gone ahead of Gobind Ghat, and were attempting to walk back from the devastation of Alakhnanda river.
According to an official spokesman, a road-section of about 14 kms had been washed away between Gobind Ghat and Hanumanchatti, including the only bridge and the barrage of the 400 megawatt Jaypee Lamagarh Power Project. The pilgrims didn’t have any option but to walk along the Alakhnanda river to cross this stretch, which involved a risky mountainous trek at some places.
He further said that alongwith the Indian Army, the Punjab Police Squad put up fixed ropes at these stretches with the help of Tyrolean Traverse, to ensure a safe passage to the pilgrims and prevent them from falling into the gushing waters of the raging Alakhnanda river. These ropes were the only way down from Badrinath. About 800 people were assisted through these crossing over the ropes over a period of 2-3 days, and the Punjab Police squad worked non-stop while operating these ropes. The Indian Army had two ropes, and the Punjab Police operated as a post multiplier by setting up 2 more pulley-cable systems. While moving onto other areas for relief operations, the Punjab Police squad loaned their technical equipment and the ropes to the Army on their request so that the Army could continue with their rescue operations.
Tyrolean Traverse is a method of crossing through free space between two points on a rope. It is used for the emergency evacuation. Setting up a practical and safe Tyrolean Traverse is a highly technical operation needing considerable training and skills.