A week after a Mumbai-based trekker was trapped in a deep gorge near Kistel peak in Lahual and Spiti district, the state government on Friday sought assistance from the National Disaster Relief Force to rescue him.
Richard Joseph Kher fell down in 250 metre deep gorge from a cliff while attempting to climb the Kistel peak in the Miyar Valley in Lahual and Spiti. At the time of mishap on August 29, Richard was accompanied by his friend Sunny, a Nepalese cook and a local porter. Richard had arrived from Mumbai on August 5, left for Udaipur after spending time in the tourist town of Manali. Kher fell down the cliff and Sunny walked an entire day to Udaipur to seek help and inform the police.
The mishap occurred on the Miyar-Jaskal track, which is famous with both domestic and foreign trekkers. The site where Kher fell is nearly 30 km ahead of Khanjar, the last inhabited village in the Miyar Valley.
"We are making best possible efforts to rescue the trapped trekker," chief secretary P Mitra told Hindustan Times. The state government had already written to the Western Command headquarters, seeking army's help in rescuing Richard. The army has sought permission from the ministry of defense to requisition its mountaineers from High Altitude School of Warfare in Gulmarg in Kashmir.
"Government has also written to director general of NDRF to send a team to rescue the trapped trekker," the special secretary state disaster management authority, DD Sharma, said when contacted.
"I had spoken to the NDRF team in Bhatinda and requested them to send a team of rescuers quickly to the site of the mishap," said Sharma. The team of trekkers along with Richard's friend Sunny on Friday made fresh efforts to reach up to the trekker. "We have also sent two doctors to provide medical assistance to the trekker," said DD Sharma.
While the efforts of the team mountaineers from the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering failed to reach the trekker owing to the hostile terrain, two more trekkers were dispatched to assist the mountaineers called from Manali. The district administration had sought help from the army, which has sent a colonel rank officer from Palchan in Manali. The officer was still camping at Udaipur to get more information about the terrain where Richard is reportedly trapped.
"Actually, Richard has fallen in 250 metre gorge. The team which inspected could partially trace Richard," said subdivisional magistrate, Udaipur, Dr Amit Guleria.
Richard's parents- mother Judith and father Brij Kher- are camping in Udaipur since last three days. Army had sent a helicopter on August 31 which was unable to reach Richard owing to the rugged terrain and steep mountains. "Our hopes are diminishing now. I spoke with director general of police Sanjay Kumar, who assured more help," said Brij Kher. "It's likely that the army would move in help by tomorrow. Lots of time has been wasted," said he.