At least 15 Jharkhand labourers feared missing following Chamoli disaster
- While nine labourers belonged to Jharkhand's Bethat village, six hailed from Ramgarh district.
At least fifteen labourers from Jharkhand are feared missing following a glacial burst in Uttarakhand's Chamoli district which triggered an avalanche and massive flooding along with the Alaknanda and Dhauliganga rivers on Sunday morning, officials said on Monday.
Jharkhand government on Monday issued helpline numbers for people of Jharkhand stranded at Chamoli. Chief minister Hemant Soren also tweeted urging Jharkhand residents stranded following the incident in Uttrakhand to contact on the helpline numbers to share their problems.
Nine labourers, all belonging to Bethat village under Kisko block of Jharkhand’s Lohardaga district, were reportedly working in the NTPC’s Tapovan project in Chamoli district. NTPC’s two power projects-Tapovan-Vishnugad hydel project and the Rishi Ganga hydel project-damaged extensively with hordes of labourers trapped in tunnels as water came rushing in.
State disaster management secretary Amitabh Kaushal said, “The Lohardaga administration has communicated about this. We are trying to contact with concerned authority in Uttrakhand.”
Lohardaga deputy commissioner (DC) Dilip Kumar Toppo said, “The village panchyat committee members gave information about the development. They said nine labourers from the village engaged in NTPC’s hydel project in Chamoli district. But, they could not be contacted since Sunday morning.”
“I have talked to the NTPC in-charge there, who said rescue operation is on. I also tried to contact the district magistrate of Chamoli but he is busy on site,” the DC said.
Nine labourers feared missing identified as Jyotish Bakhla, Manjnu Bakhla, Urbanush Bakhla, Sunil Bakhla, Nemhas Bakhla, Rabindra Oraon, Deepak Kujur, Vikky Bhagat and Prem Oraon.
Bethat panchayat committee member, Anmol Tirkey said, “All nine people left for Chamoli from the village on January 23 and they reached there on January 25. They were working as daily wager in the NTPC project.”
He said, “Sunil Bakhla did a last call to a village friend at 9.45am on Sunday morning and he talked around seven minutes. Sunil told his friend that Nehmas, Deepak and Urbanush entered the tunnel and they were preparing for entering the tunnel next.”
Tirkey further said, “The family members of these nine people have repeatedly been trying to contact them after they came to know about the incident on Sunday. Being worried, we approached the deputy commissioner of Lohardaga seeking his help.”