Two more bodies were recovered from the flash flood-hit areas of Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district on Friday, taking the count in the calamity to 38, as rescue teams battled on against the odds for the sixth consecutive day to get to 25-35 people trapped in a sludge-choked tunnel in Tapovan.
One body was recovered from the rubble at the demolished Rishi Ganga Hydel Project in Raini and the other from Maithana, district administration officials here said.
A separate team of rescuers was formed under the supervision of the executive engineer of the Rural Works Department to expedite the search operation taking the help of locals and old photographs of the demolished Rishi Ganga hydel project.
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel using excavators and JCBs are dredging through the muck to locate the missing, the officials said.
At Tapovan, besides the continuing sludge clearing and drilling inside the tunnel, an approach road is being built near the Gauri Shankar temple so that a Pokland machine could be sent down in search of those missing in the debris.
A cofferdam is also being constructed at Tapovan to prevent any more water from flushing into the tunnel.
Meanwhile, with scientists spotting a new glacial lake in the higher reaches of Rishi Ganga, an eight-member team of the scientists of the Geological Survey of India was formed to inspect the lake, Chamoli District Magistrate Swati S Bhadauria said.
The GSI team is being sent to inspect the lake and submit its report to the district administration at the earliest, she said.