Rain hampers relief work in Uttarakhand, Almora SDM still untraced
Dehradun: Intermittent rains at most places in Uttarakhand on Thursday hampered road restoration and relief work even as efforts were intensified to search for Almora SDM who was swept away by the swirling waters of Mandakini river while on duty near Kedarnath in Rudraprayag district.
Garhwal Commissioner Subardhan, Rudraprayag District Magistrate Dilip Jawalkar and DIG Amit Sinha undertook a low- flying aerial survey of the Mandakini river in search of SDM Ajay Arora, who slipped off a temporary bridge and fell into the river yesterday while returning to Garurchatti basecamp from Kedarnath where debris cleaning exercise was under way.
The SDM has not yet been traced, Jawalkar said, adding two search teams have also been dispatched to Sonprayag and Gaurikund to search for him while areas close to the river and Kedarnath are also being combed.
Weather was very bad in Rambada making flight of choppers to Kedarnath shrine impossible, he said.
National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) and police personnel are combing the swollen river in search of the official, Rudraprayag`s District Disaster Management Officer Meera Kaintura said.
Bad weather also delayed the transportation of a consignment of heavy stone cutting equipment to Kedarnath which is still stuck in Guptkashi, an official here said.
Relief operations and road restoration work in one of the worst hit Chamoli districts was also hit by intermittent rains and low visibility conditions induced by fog, Chamoli ADM Sanjay Kumar said.
A thin veil of fog hung over most places throughout the day bringing air relief operations to a halt, he said.
Major highways including NH-58 and NH-87 in the district are still blocked with pebbles and boulders frequently being brought onto the roads by small landlsips triggered by rains in the hills, he said.
However, relief material in small quantities continued to be transported in choppers to affected areas wherever weather permitted, officials here said.
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