The Indo-Tibetan Border Police, SDRF and other sister organisations on Tuesday launched an operation at the artificial lake, which was formed after the recent flash flood-triggered landslide blocked flow of the Rishiganga river, in Chamoli. To increase the volume of water at the Rishiganga near Muranda, the team removed tree trunks that were blocking the flow.

The artificial lake continues to be a hot topic of debate among scientists and administrators and an object of fear among locals. A team of ITBP, SDRF and other agencies are presently camping at the lake site. The administration is on alert after the Indian Meteorological Department forecast for light rainfall on 24, 25 and 26 February and moderate rainfall at Tapovan area on 27 February.

Meanwhile, the Uttarakhand government has issued a notification authorising officials to declare “presumed dead” 136 people still missing after the flash flood in Chamoli district over two weeks ago. Sixty-eight bodies have so far been recovered after the February 7 disaster possibly triggered by an avalanche.

~With inputs from PTI~