New Delhi: In the aftermath of the devastating floods that wreaked havoc in Chamoli district in Uttarakhand on Sunday, the state government on Tuesday released a statement announcing that its officials will be collecting DNA samples of the unattended and recovered bodies for identification.
"Till 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, 32 bodies have been recovered, while 174 are yet to be traced. The DNA samples will be kept safe based on which, the bodies will be identified," the statement reads.
Of the 32 recovered bodies, 25 have been identified, while 7 remain unattended. The rescue operation is underway to trace the remaining 174 people.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat cited the example of Kedarnath disaster of 2013 which prompted them to collect DNA samples of bodies for future identification.
"Multi-agency operation is on at multiple sites of the state to trace the missing persons. From the 2013 Kedarnath disaster, the experience that we have gathered is that the DNA samples of the bodies' have to be kept safe for their identification in the future."
According to Uttarakhand government, the Tapovan Vishnugad hydroelectric project rescuers have dug in and moved about 100 metres into a blocked tunnel in an attempt to reach the individuals feared to be trapped inside.
During the relief and rescue operations, 12 NTPC employees were rescued safely, while six others who sustained injuries have also been saved by the rescuers.
Meanwhile, the state government has informed that there is no danger of downstream flooding and the rise in water level has been contained, adding that the Centre and the state government are keeping a strict vigil on the situation.
The Chief Minister reviewed the relief and rescue operations in the disaster-hit Lata village on Tuesday. He also inquired about the joint operation by other agencies, including the NDRF and the ITBP in the Tapovan tunnel.
One column of Engineering Task Force (ETF) of the Army along with rescue equipment has also been deployed in the area. A team of scientists flown to Dehradun on Sunday night have also visited the spot.
A state control room at Haridwar has been set up to coordinate with Uttarakhand government about the rescue and relief operations.