Heavy rainfall leading to flash floods in Himalayan rivers in July-end devastated three states — Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. It claimed 34 human lives and damaged property extensively. It also brought into focus the precarious condition of more than a dozen dams in the region.

Within just one week, starting August 1, these states received about half the rainfall they receive over an entire year—Uttarakhand received 44.6 per cent of its annual rainfall; Himachal 51.8 per cent and Jammu and Kashmir 55.6 per cent. Uttarkashi district in Uttarakhand’s Garhwal region was the worst hit. The Bhagirathi, flowing much above the danger mark, washed away houses, hotels, roads and bridges. Nineteen labourers working on the Assi Ganga hydropower project in Uttarkashi were swept away by the river which they were trying to harness.