After failing to uncover any information about the whereabouts of the eight missing trekkers - seven students Punjab and a guide -from the first rescue team, the Kullu district administration has now sent a second rescue team to locate the trekkers.
The second team comprises of 15 people and also includes doctors. The trekkers had lost their way near the Chanderkahni pass ahead of Malana village on March 11.
Kullu superintendent of police Padam Chand told Hindustan Times that he had received no fresh update from the first rescue team which was sent on Friday morning. He further said the inclement weather was making it difficult for the rescue team to intensify the search operation.
“We have sent a second rescue team comprising of 15 people including medical staff to provide first aid if and when they are successful in locating the trekkers,” the SP said.
When contacted, Kullu deputy commissioner Hans Raj Chauhan said, “Neither the college authorities or nor any parent of the missing trekkers has contacted the district administration, except that of local guide Bharat Parkash, who stated to be a former student of Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology (SLIET) till Saturday morning.”
“Despite inclement weather rescue teams are doing their job and we hope that they will be located soon,” he added.
“District administration is mulling over seeking National Disaster Response Force’s (NDRF) help in locating the missing trekkers if the rescue teams fail to locate them till evening,” he added.
Mother of local guide Jalpa Kaistaha said, “My son was the student of SLIET, and he completed his education six months ago. On March 8, his juniors called him to help them in a trekking expedition towards Bijli Mahadev but we came to know on Friday morning (March 11) that they were trapped in the area near Chanderkahni pass in Parvati valley of district when my son contacted his brother to seek help of a helicopter to bring them out of the region.”
“We immediately informed to the police, which swung into action. However, since Friday morning there has been no contact with my son nor has any parent of his friends tried to contact me,” she added. She also stated that her son is not a professional trekker.
Reports of tourists getting lost in the hinterland of the valley are not new. At least 18 foreign trekkers have gone missing since 1991 in the district and they could never be traced. In August last year, Polish national Bruno Muschalik had lost his way and there was no trace of him ever since.