The death toll in the Uttarakhand’s Chamoli disaster rose to 68 even as the search operations continued there for the 15th day on February 21.
The identities of 38 bodies have been established so far.
On Feb. 20, five more bodies were recovered from the Tapovan area — three bodies were recovered from the desilting tank near the project barrage by Feb. 20 evening while two more were extricated late at night, district administration officials said.
In all, 28 human body parts have so far been found at different places.
The Uttarakhand Police have sent the DNA samples of 96 family members of the missing persons and 73 bodies/body parts to the forensic science laboratory in Dehradun for matching.
The Joshimath police have registered 204 missing reports.
Over 160 metres of the Tapovan tunnel have been cleared of sludge and debris.
Chamoli District Magistrate Swati S. Bhadauria had asked the NTPC to press into service additional excavators and divert the course of Dhauli Ganga to the other side so that its water does not flow through the barrage into Tapovan tunnel hampering sludge clearing efforts.
River water flowing into the tunnel from the barrage has been a major headache for rescuers at the tunnel making the muck clearing operations even more challenging, Mr. Bhadauria said.
(With inputs from PTI)