Dehradun (Uttarakhand): The relief and rescue operation is going on at war footing in the villages of Uttarakhand following heavy rains and cloud burst.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF), Army, Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), the state police and the revenue department teams are engaged in this job.
The death toll in Pithoragarh and Chamoli districts of state has risen to 16.
In seven villages including Bastari under Didihat tehsil of Pithoragarh, 13 people have been rescued alive from the debris and they are under treatment in the hospital.
So far, 10 dead bodies have been recovered, while about 17 people are still buried under the debris.
In four villages of Chamoli district, six people have been killed, while three others are missing.
Meanwhile, Rishikesh-Badrinath national highway is still blocked at some places.
Gangotri and Yamunotri national highways have also been disrupted at several places in Uttarakashi district.
The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) and the Public Works Department (PWD) personnel are pressed into service to reopen all the three yatra routes.
Almost all major rivers in the state are flowing near the danger marks.
In view of this, the authorities have asked the people living in low lying areas to move to safer places.
Minister of State for Environment and Forests Prakash Javadekar yesterday said that the cloudburst-like incidents are increasing due to climate change.
Expressing grief over the loss of lives in Uttarakhand following a cloudbrust, he said that the government is working on plan of action to tackle such natural eventualities and that around 27 researches have been initiated on the Himalayan mountain range.