Imphal: The death count in the devastating landslide in Manipur’s Noney district shot up to 42 on Sunday, with rescuers continuing their search for survivors despite the inclement weather.
The landslide occurred in Tupul on the intervening night of June 29 and 30.
Chief Minister N. Biren Singh during the day visited Assam Rifles Military Hospital at IGAR South, Imphal and met the personnel who were undergoing treatment.
The Chief Minister also handed over a sum of Rs. 50,000 each to the injured persons namely Havildars Marjision Singh and Nima Onchu Sherpa, Lance Naik Hirdya lamang and Riflemen Siddanth Chhetri, Sarangthem Shyamchandra Singh, Prokash Newar and Chef Kinkar Parua.
A Defence official here said search operations by state forces, Army, Assam Rifles, Territorial Army, SDRF and NDRF at the incident site at Tupul, continued despite adverse weather conditions owing to heavy rains and fresh landslides .
The Through Wall Radar and Search and Rescue Dog inducted are being employed to hasten the search operation. Besides the 13 Territorial Army personnel and five civilians who were rescued, mortal remains of 23 Territorial Army personnel and 11 civilians have been recovered so far.
Officials said Nungdolan, Nungkao and Sibilong areas in the vicinity of the main landslide site were also affected and the government has restricted entry of vehicles.
The mortal remains of seven Territorial Army personnel were sent to their respective home stations by IAF aircraft and an Indian Army helicopter to Kolkata, Bagdogra and Agartala. They were paid full military honours by GOC Red Shield Division and IG IGAR (South) at Imphal.
The Defence official said, “Relentless efforts to search for the remaining seven missing Territorial Army personnel and 21 civilians will continue till the last individual is found.”
Relief & Disaster Management and Water Resource Minister Awangbow Newmai took stock of the prevailing rescue operation at Marangching (Makhaum) landslide site for the third time on Sunday.
During the visit, he extended his gratitude to the rescue team and the local villagers who are involved in the search operation for their relentless and tireless efforts.
Awangbow Newmai said that the Government has put in concerted efforts in the rescue and search operation of the missing people. There is enough manpower with well-equipped techniques by using Through Wall Radar (TWR), snipper and rescue dogs. Five more excavators for digging the debris will be increased by Monday , the Minister informed.
Awangbow also convened a joint consultative review meeting about the rescue and search operation with the local volunteers, Army Officials, Railways Officials, NDRF-SDRF Officials, Village Authority leaders of Makhaum (Marangching).
Union Minister of State for Education Dr. Subhas Sarkar, Raju Bista, MP Darjeeling (LS), Maharaja Leishemba Sanajaoba, MP(RS), Piyush Hazarika, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Assam, Dipu Gangmei, HAC Chairman, Manipur were also present at the site.