Uttarakhand disaster: Toll rises to 67 as two more bodies recovered from Tapovan project site
Search operations at the Tapovan-Vishnugad hydel project site have been underway on a war footing for a fortnight since it bore the brunt of an avalanche triggered by a glacier burst over the Rishi Ganga
Gopeshwar: Two more bodies were recovered from the flood-ravaged Tapovan-Vishnugad hydel project site, taking the toll in the calamity in Uttarakhand to 67 even as search operations continued there for the 15th day on Sunday.
Three bodies had been recovered from the desilting tank near the Tapovan project barrage by Saturday evening while two more were extricated late at night, district administration officials said.
Search operations at the project site have been underway on a war footing for a fortnight since it bore the brunt of an avalanche triggered by a glacier burst over Rishi Ganga in Chamoli district on 7 February.
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 toll in the tragedy 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.
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The strategic 900-km Chardham highway project aims to provide all-weather connectivity to four holy towns Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath in Uttarakhand
Thirty-three bodies out of the 62 recovered so far have been identified, police said, adding the DNAs of unidentified bodies are being preserved
It has been 11 days since the calamity struck following the burst of a glacier in Rishiganga, and the hopes of families waiting for their missing kin are also on the wane