Uttarakhand / New Delhi:
136 people missing since a glacier burst in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district earlier this month unleashed an avalanche and flash floods will be declared dead, officials have said. More than 60 bodies have been recovered so far after the region was hit by one of the worst tragedies in the recent years.
About two weeks ago, the glacier burst in the upper Himalayas that caused the avalanche and deluge in the Dhauliganga-Alakananda river system washed away a hydroelectric station and five bridges, besides severely damaging another power project.
The 13.2 mw Rishi Ganga hydel project was totally demolished in the avalanche while the Tapovan-Vishnugad hydel project suffered extensive damage.
A multi-agency search-and-rescue operation, involving teams from the state and national disaster response forces, the Army, Navy and Air Force, the ITBP, local police and paramilitary troops, had been working tirelessly since the disaster hit the region on February 7.
Families have been called to test the DNA samples of 136 people who went missing.
Facing criticism from experts who say developmental projects in the ecologically sensitive region may have exacerbated the disaster, the cental government ruled out any connection between an ongoing road-widening project near the Char Dam and the glacier burst.