Uttarakhand tragedy: 36 bodies recovered, several still missing; Union Home Secretary reviews progress of rescue and relief work

A total of 36 bodies have been recovered after a glacier broke in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district, while several people are still missing, police said on Thursday.

Of 36, 10 bodies have been identified, DNA of all those bodies which have not been identified have been preserved, Chamoli police said.

The Union Home Secretary chaired a meeting today to review the progress of rescue and relief work being carried out by Central agencies and agencies of the Government of Uttarakhand at the site of the hydro project of the NTPC at Tapovan on the Dhauliganga River, which was impacted by an avalanche incident in the upper catchment of the Rishiganga River in Chamoli District of Uttarakhand on February 7.

The Union Home Secretary reviewed the action required for regulating the flow of water from a temporary obstruction which has formed upstream from the project. Secretary DRDO has been asked to depute experts for analysis of the situation and for taking appropriate remedial measures in co-ordination with Central and State agencies. The Union Home Secretary assured all possible help and assistance from Central agencies to the State Government as and when required by them.

Over 600 personnel of The Indian Army, ITBP, National Disaster Response Force  (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have been deployed in Chamoli district to carry out search and rescue operations.

On Sunday an avalanche occurred in the upper catchment of Rishiganga River, a tributary of Alaknanda River in Chamoli District of Uttarakhand, which led to sudden rise in the water level of Rishiganga River. Due to flash floods on account of rising water levels in the river Rishiganga, a functional Rishiganga small hydro project of 13.2 MW was washed away. The flash flood also affected the under construction 520 MW NTPC Hydro Power Project downstream at Tapovan on the river Dhauli Ganga.