Two more bodies were found late Saturday night from the Tapovan-Vishnugad hydel project site even as search operations continued for victims who went missing following the glacier burst in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district earlier this month.
The death toll now stands at 67 due to the calamity. This includes three bodies which were recovered from the desilting tank near the project barrage by Saturday evening while two more were extricated late at night, district administration officials said.
Search operation at the hydel project site has been underway on a war footing basis for a fortnight since it bore the brunt of an avalanche and a massive flood triggered by a glacier burst over Rishi Ganga in Chamoli district on February 7.
The 13.2 mw Rishi Ganga hydel project was totally demolished in the avalanche while the Tapovan-Vishnugad hydel project suffered extensive damage. Recovery of five bodies on Saturday takes the tragedy toll to 67 while 137 are still missing.
Chamoli District Magistrate Swati S Bhadauria had asked the NTPC to press into service additional excavators and divert the course of Dhauli Ganga to the other side so that its water does not flow through the barrage into Tapovan tunnel hampering sludge clearing efforts.
River water flowing into the tunnel from the barrage has been a major headache for rescuers at the tunnel making the muck clearing operations even more challenging, Bhadauria said.
(With inputs from agencies)