Rescue ops on despite fresh landslides in Darjeeling

Siliguri/Kolkata, July 3 (IANS) Rescue and relief operations continued in the landslide-ravaged Darjeeling hills of West Bengal on Friday even as fresh landslips were reported from the region, officials said.

According to the district administration, so far 32 bodies have been recovered while at least 11 people are still missing.

“The search for the missing people is in full swing. Rescue and relief operations are continuing,” Darjeeling District Magistrate Anurag Srivastava said.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), state government’s disaster management and the Indian Army are jointly carrying out relief rescue ops.

Fresh landslides near Rongpo at the Bengal-Sikkim border has hampered the restoration work.

“Continuous rains and fresh landslides have been hampering our work, but if the weather permits, we will be able to resume the road link as early as possible,” General Reserve Engineering Force (GREF) in-charge R.K. Joshi said.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who rushed to the region on Wednesday, has been continuously monitoring rescue and relief work and visiting the affected at the camps.

Large parts of Jalpaiguri district are also submerged with the administration issuing a red alert with rivers flowing over the danger mark.

Banerjee has also urged the central government for Geological Survey of India (GSI) survey of Mirik, the worst affected area accounting for at least 24 deaths so far.

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