The Uttarakhand government has issued notification to declare the 130 missing persons as dead after a fortnight. These persons are missing since 7 th February’s devastating flash floods that occured after the glacial outburst at the Nanda Devi peak at Tapovan, Chamoli where about sixty eight persons have already died with their dead bodies recovered by the various rescue teams engaged in the rescue operations at tunnel site n the affected vicinity. The rescue and relief teams engaged in the operation are NDRF, SDRF, ITBP, Army personnel n the local police including the Navy divers etc. An official notification has been issued in this regard on Monday by the Uttarakhand government after all efforts till date have proved to be of no avail except finding dead bodies from under the rubble or sluts including several body parts as well. According to the latest official figures, till date 68 dead bodies have been recovered out of the total missing persons with 136 still reported to be missing. Out of the total dead fourteen bodies have been recovered from the Tapovan Vishnugad hydropower tunnel whereas rest 22 bodies found from the upstream n downstream areas where the high velocity gushing devastating floods killed them. According to the legal norms in usual cases or in such natural disasters, those missing are not declared dead before seven years’ stipulated time but in Kedarnath Tragedy of 2013 June n in Chamoli disaster the government of the centre n the state has declared the missing as presumed dead too early in order to financially compensate the bereaved family with the Central and state government’s financial support of Rs. Two n four lakhs to each family of the deceased. In Chamoli disaster the Uttarakhand govt has invoked the provisions of Registration of Births and Deaths Act,1969 allowing the missing persons to be presumed n declared as deceased before the stipulated seven year period. The notification was issued by the Health department of Uttarakhand after getting due permission of the centre and officials deputed in the affected areas to issue death certificates to the bereaved families in order to facilitate the process of financial compensations cheques of Rs 6 lakhs to each of the bereaved families of the deceased.
Sunil Negi is a senior journalist and president of Uttarakhand Journalists Forum ( Regd). He usually writes on socio political subjects and have been contributing articles in print media for the last several years. Mr. Sunil Negi had been felicitated by All India Achievers conference's Pride of India and excellence awards apart from several other recognitions. He has translated a book on ecological disaster of Uttarakhand of June 2013 and edited and published two editions of Uttaranchal's Who's Who.
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