Chamoli: Four bodies were recovered from the debris at Rishi Ganga Hydropower Project site Tuesday morning, two days after a sudden deluge hit parts of Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district.
The bodies were retrieved by teams of the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF), the State Disaster Relief Force (SDRF), the Indian-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and the Army in a multi-agency operation.
Of the four, two bodies have been identified so far.
“Two have been identified. One is Deepak, an electrician working in the project, and the other was Uttarakhand police personnel… Over 50 people are missing from this point, out of those we have detected four bodies, so many may be missing in this river,” P.K. Tiwari, commandant of the NDRF, told ThePrint.
Villagers from nearby Reni village crowded around the bodies in the hope of identifying five residents, who went missing.
“One was working at the plant and the others were outside, they are missing,” said village head Bhawan Rana.
The hydropower project itself has been reduced to slush and debris as the muddy waters tore through a bridge and a building complex of the project.
The rescue forces are using JCB machines to sift through the slush.
According to Tiwari, the teams will also use more sensitive “sonar systems” and “cutting and breaching” if required.
So far, 30 bodies have been recovered after the floods and around 200 are still missing.
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‘Management has to tell relatives if a mishap happens’
Meanwhile, family members of several of the workers travelled down to the site with the hope of finding news about their loved ones.
“I am from Saharanpur, my brother used to work in Haridwar. He had come here for maintenance work to the Rishi Ganga Plant. We saw in the news at 11.30, then I called him, but his phone was switched off,” said a teary-eyed Ankit Chaudhary.
Mukesh Kumar’s brother-in-law, Jugal Kishor, had been working at the plant as a junior engineer. Like Chaudhary, Kumar also first came to know about the incident from the news.
“The management has to tell relatives if a mishap happens. We got to know because of the news. Since then we travelled 500-600 km in a car and came here, but we have not found anyone from the management,” he said.
Kumar further claimed that several names were absent from the list of those who were missing.
On Tuesday, Home Minister Amit Shah informed the Parliament that five teams of the NDRF, 8 teams of the Army, several from the ITBP and a diving team of the Navy have been involved in the rescue operations.
“The central government is monitoring the situation and the prime minister himself is monitoring it. Both the control rooms of the home ministry are monitoring the situation round the clock and the state is being provided with all the possible help,” he said.
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