70 missing from UP, Yogi sets up helplines

Nearly 70 persons from Uttar Pradesh are reported missing after the Uttarakhand catastrophe.

The maximum number of missing persons belong to Lakhimpur district. Majority of the labourers had gone to work on the Tapovan project in the farming off-season.

The local people in Ichchhanagar said that 26 persons from their village had left for Tapovan and 18 had gone missing.

Those in Bharampur said 11 have neither returned home and nor have they contacted their families. In Bholanpur, five persons are feared missing.

District Magistrate Shailendra Singh did not confirm the exact number of missing persons but said that a list of all workers from Lakhimpur Kheri is being compiled.

“We have deployed lekhpals to collate the information from villages and share it with the tehsildar and subdivisional magistrate. We are then verifying the data by getting in touch with family members. As of now, we suspect 35 people from just the Nighasan tehsil have gone missing,” he said.

The data is being shared with his counterpart in Chamoli.

Nighasan sub divisional magistrate Om Prakash Gupta said there was no official confirmation of any death yet. He added, “So far, we know 58 people from Nighasan were working at the hydel project site.The number may increase because we are yet to receive data from a few villages.”

Sources said that majority of the bodies were unrecognizable sine they had either been crushed under the weight of stones and boulders or bloated due to water.

According to the office of the relief commissioner, three persons from Saharanpur, four from Meerut, five from Gorakhpur, two from Shamli and one each from Moradabad, Bijnor, and Chandauli are also out of contact with their family members.

UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath held a high-level meeting, late on Monday night, to review the situation.

The state government has released a toll-free number 1070 and a WhatsApp number 9454441036 on which the family members of those who are missing, can contact for help.

The Chief Minister is also setting up control room in Haridwar and four officers have been designated to go to Joshimath and help people from Uttar Pradesh who are stranded there.

The Chief Minister has also announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each for the kin of the deceased.