Chamoli, Feb 12, 2021: The toll in the Uttarakhand disaster has mounted to 38, while 166 are still missing, the Chamoli district administration said on Friday.
Two more bodies were recovered on Friday. One body was recovered from the rubble at the demolished Rishi Ganga Hydel Project in Raini and the other from Maithana, district administration officials said.
Moreover, noticing subsequent rise and fall in the water level of the Rishi Ganga river, the district administration has issued an alert, appealing to people to go not near the river after sunset.
NEW MACHINES TO BE BROUGHT IN FOR RESCUE OPS
Meanwhile, RK Ahirwar, General Manager, NTPC and project in-charge, said new machines are to be brought in for rescue operations.
"We will bring another vehicle to the site, with that we will be able to do large sized-drillings. When that hole is done, we will tell you about our further plans...Drilling of rocks is done and we have reached the tunnel. There can be either slush or water in there," RP Ahirwar was quoted by ANI as saying.
"Our calculation was accurate and we’ve punctured the safety tunnel at mark of 11.6 metres. The pressure is released. Our drills are in place which is a good sign. We’ll widen the hole so that pumping can be attempted," RP Ahirwar said.
RESCUE OPS ON FOR 6TH CONSECUTIVE DAY
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 Uttarkhand on Friday.
The Indian Army is using a trolley to connect villages cut off after glacier burst in Chamoli.
"A footbridge was broken due to flash floods, leaving people in villages disconnected. We’ve built aerial river crossing to provide connectivity," Major Utkarsh Shukla was quoted by news agency ANI as saying.
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.
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, news agency PTI quoted Chamoli District Magistrate Swati S Bhadauria as saying.
The GSI team is being sent to inspect the lake and submit its report to the district administration at the earliest, she said.