Imphal, Jul 5 (IANS): No recovery of bodies was reported on Tuesday after Thursday's devastating landslide in India at a railway construction site in Manipur's Noney district even as several fresh landslides caused severe challenges in wake of the disaster, officials said.
Defence sources said that till Monday, 47 bodies, including 31 of Territorial Army soldiers and remaining of local people and railway workers, were recovered and search operations were underway despite inclement weather to locate the 14 still missing.
Noney Deputy Commissioner Haulianlal Guite, in an advisory on Tuesday, said that continuous rock falls along the National Highway-37 between Tupul and Noney district headquarters (near Namduanjang) has been occurring since Monday night."
"While the NHIDCL (National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd) has made all efforts to clear the accumulated debris, the rock falls continue periodically, thus posing danger to life and properties for those vehicles plying along the NH-37. Given the uncertain road conditions, it is hereby ordered that NH-37 between Tupul and Namduanjang villages be closed for all vehicles, except those carrying emergency supplies. Noney district police shall give effect to this order and enforce it strictly in the interest of public order and safety," he said in the advisory.
Despite fresh landslides and continuous hostile weather conditions, the intensive search operations by the Indian Army, the Assam Rifles, the Territorial Army, and the National and State Disaster Response Forces continued at the incident site at Tupul, district officials said.
Senior Army and disaster management officials are camping in ground zero supervising the rescue and recovery operations in the landslide-devastated mountainous Tupul, where around 80 persons, including Territorial Army personnel, were buried alive after the catastrophic mudslide on June 30.
Efforts to search for the remaining missing Territorial Army personnel and civilians would continue till the last individual is found, a defence spokesman said.
The Territorial Army soldiers were deployed at Tupul to provide security to the railway project in which many workers from Assam have been working. The construction of the railway infrastructure in Noney was part of the Rs 14,320 crore broad gauge Jiribam-Imphal railway project, being executed by the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR), to connect the Manipur capital on the rail network by 2024.