Chamoli glacier burst: Uttarakhand to declare 135 missing persons ‘dead’

WHAT?

Uttarakhand health department, under the directions from Centre, has decided to declare 135 missing people in the Feb 7 Chamoli disaster, as “dead”. Of the initial 204 people missing, search & rescue workers have recovered 69 bodies.

WHO?

Following a notification issued by the state health secretary Amit Negi on Sunday evening, the govt has invoked the Birth & Death Registration Act, 1969, under which the designated government officer will issue death certificates of the missing people to their family or relatives.

On February 7, a glacier breach at Joshimath in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district triggered a massive flood that hit two hydropower projects near the Naina Devi National Park, about 300 kilometres north of Dehradun.

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The notification stated, “In normal circumstances, the birth and death certificates are issued to a person at the place where he is born or died. But in exceptional circumstances, like the Chamoli disaster, if a missing person is possibly dead beyond all possibilities of being alive but his body is yet to be found, in that case the authorities could declare him dead by issuing the death certificate to his family members after a required inquiry.”