Kin of J&K man missing since Tapvovan glacier burst urge govt to speed up rescue ops

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Bhaderwah/Jammu, Feb 12 (PTI) The family of a J&K man, working with a private firm executing a power project on Alaknanda river in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand and gone missing since the glacier burst there, has appealed to the government to speed up the rescue operation and locate his body.

Jatinder, a native of Bhara village of Bhaderwah district in Jammu and Kashmir, had made calls to his wife and mother minutes before he went missing in the flood triggered by the glacier burst near Tapovan area of Uttarkhand on Sunday.

'The only thing we now want from the administration that they should speed up the rescue operation to clear the debris so that at least I may get my younger brother’s body,” said Sunil Kumar, Jatiner’s elder brother.

Jatinder worked as a labour supervisor for Hyderabad-based Rithwik Projects Private Ltd, executing the NTPC’s Tapovan hydel power project in Uttarakhand.

His brother Surendra Kumar said Jatinder had left Reni village, where he lived, for the dam site along with 20 labourers and had called up both his wife and mother while on way and had promised to get back home soon.

'My six brothers including cousins are at Tapovan dam site for the last five days, searching for Jatinder but they told us that there is tons of debris at the site of the incident where, according to eyewitnesses, he got drowned and buried along with 20 labourers,” said Kumar.

“We will never be able to see him alive now” he added.

Jatinder’s mother Bhagwana Devi (70) said he had made a video call to her and had told her that he was missing his three-year-old daughter a lot and would get back home soon.

“That was the last when I saw her,” she said.

Jatinder’s wife Meena (27) has been left lamenting that she failed to pick up her husband’s second call after speaking to him briefly during the first call.

“My husband called me on Sunday at 10.32 am and talked for just two minutes, thereafter he again called me up at 10.35 am but I could not pick up the call as I had got busy in household chores,' she said.

'I will regret for the rest of my life that I didn't pick up that call and at 11.30 am, we came to know there was a disaster at the dam site in Tapovan,” said Meena.

“Thereafter I made thousands of call but to no avail,” she rued.