Three more bodies were recovered on Saturday from the site of the Tapovan-Vishnugad hydel project ravaged by the NTPC floods, bringing the death toll to 65 in the Feb.7 ice disaster in Uttarakhand, officials said.
The bodies were recovered from the clearance tank near the Tapovan project dam on Saturday, NDRF commander PK Tiwari told the Press Trust of India news agency.
The research operation at the project site has been underway for more than 13 days since the avalanche triggered by a glacial explosion on the Rishiganga river in the Chamoli district.
The 13.2 MW Rishiganga hydroelectric project was totally demolished in the avalanche while the Tapovan-Vishnugad hydroelectric project suffered extensive damage.
With the recovery of three more bodies, the death toll in the tragedy has risen to 65 while 139 people remain missing.
Meanwhile, Chamoli District Magistrate Swati S Bhadauria on Saturday asked the NTPC to put additional equipment into operation and divert the course of the Dhauliganga River to the other side so that its water does not flow through. the dam in the Tapovan tunnel, hampering sludge cleaning efforts.
River water flowing through the tunnel from the dam has been a major headache for tunnel rescuers, making clearing operations even more difficult, Ms. Bhadauria said.
The deployment of additional equipment in the tunnel and the diversion of the course of the river will speed up the debris removal exercise which has been underway for more than 13 days, she said.
She said rescue operations at the main project site in Raini have been completed.
The district magistrate added that the debris located on the upper part of Rishiganga is now being cleaned to detect any bodies that could be trapped, if any.