Pithoragarh: Search and rescue operations were intensified today in Malpa and Mangti which were hit by cloudbursts on August 14.
Search is being carried out from Dharchula to Banbasa along the stretch of the Kali river with the help of helicopters, dog squads, SSB and ITBP personnel, state Finance Minister Prakash Pant said.
Villagers and pilgrims stranded in the Vyas Valley are being airlifted, Pant told reporters on his return from the disaster-hit areas of Malpa and Mangti here. A sum of Rs 25 crore has been released for the purpose by state government today, he said. "The amount will be spent in restoring damaged infrastructure from Mangti to Gunji which includes reconstruction of roads, bridges and trolleys wherever needed," the minister said.
Pilgrims and villagers stranded in high-altitude areas of the Vyas Valley are also being airlifted to Dharchula, he said.
However, aerial rescue operations depend heavily on weather conditions, the minister said, adding several villagers are trapped in Bundi, Gunji and Mangti, who are being airlifted from there to Dharchula.
According to the district administration, the work of searching the missing Army jawans and villagers continued for the fifth day today but no living or dead persons have been found.