Updated: February 10, 2021 1:00:49 pm
As rescue operations continued for the third day in the tunnel at Tapovan power project site without a breakthrough, the Army made an attempt to start search operations near the barrage of the project on Dhauli Ganga river, at a site where more than a hundred people are feared missing.
But the team had to abort the operation after finding the surface unsuitable for movement.
A team of four Army personnel from Garhwal Rifles on Tuesday morning climbed to reach a site between the barrage of the NTPC project and a retaining wall, located about 150 metres away. Over a dozen Armymen stayed at a higher perch with ropes and other equipment to assist them in climbing down, and later getting up.
An officer said there is nearly 30 feet of muck deposited between the barrage and the retaining wall, and possibility of missing people trapped there – either dead or alive – can’t be ruled out.
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“Had the surface been conducive for movement, jawans would have started searching for the missing people. But that could not be done today,” the officer said. “We will try once again when the ground surface becomes more conducive.”
Chamoli SP Yahswant Singh Chauhan said over 100 people were working at the barrage on Sunday when the flash flood struck, and are among the missing.
According to a release from the police state headquarters, photographs of unidentified bodies recovered will be sent to relatives of missing people so that they identify them. The relatives have been asked to contact DIG (Law and Order) Nilesh Anand Bharney for this. So far, 32 bodies have been recovered from different locations; 24 of them are unidentified.
Earlier in the morning, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat visited the affected villages and met the villagers and assured them of every possible help. Hours after the CM’s visit, the PWD started development of two trolley bridges across Dhauli Ganga and one across Rishi Ganga river.
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