On the second day of the search operation being conducted by the Nepal government, mountaineer Chhanda Gayen and her Sherpas, who went missing on May 20, remained untraceable.
She went missing after she and her team were caught in an avalanche while scaling the 8,505-metre-high Kanchenjunga West. The Nepal government initiated the search operation Friday.
“The rescue operation was affected due to bad weather. However, after the weather conditions improved, the search operations started at both air and ground levels. A helicopter has made several sorties but the search teams are yet to locate them,” said Aroop Biswas, state youth affairs minister.
Biswas added the government was waiting for a clearance by the ministry of external affairs for Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to start for Nepal in order to supervise the search and rescue operations. The Bengal government had earlier sent a three-member team to Nepal to assist the rescue mission.
On Friday, Banerjee visited Chhanda’s family and assured them of all support to trace her. Governor M K Narayanan Saturday called the mountaineer’s family members. Chhanda is the second civilian woman from Bengal to scale Mt Everest.
GJM demands Rs 25 lakh relief, job for missing Sherpa’s family
The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) president Bimal Gurung appealed to the state government to provide a job and Rs 25 lakh as financial assistance to the family of Dawa Wangchu, a Sherpa, who went missing with Chhanda. “Without the help of the Sherpa community, it would be nearly impossible for climbers to scale a mountain. The West Bengal government should also give equal importance to rescue of Dawa Wangchu Sherpa from Darjeeling. I would appeal to the government that they give a government job to Dawa’s wife or anyone from his family and financial aid of Rs 25 lakh,” said Gurung.