The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Climbers missing in mountain blizzard

Two youths of a 12-member mountaineering team from Barasat, on the city’s northern outskirts, are missing and four others received serious injuries in a blizzard in the Garhwal Himalayas.

The two missing youths are Arijit Banerjee, a resident of Sonarpur, and Tusharendu Kabir from Agartala.

All the injured have taken refuge in their basecamp, while three others have managed to climb down to Uttarkashi. Rescue teams in two phases from Gangotri and Uttarkashi have been sent to conduct a search.

The team members, under the banner of Arret Mountaineering Foundation (AMF), had left Barasat on August 30 for the expedition. The scheduled route was Uttarkashi-Gangotri-Kedardome.

The weather took a turn for the worse when the team was climbing down from the 22,140 ft-high Kedardome. “They scaled the summit on September 17 and were scheduled to reach Uttarkashi on September 27. We came to know about the disaster on Friday,” said Arun Mukherjee, AMF secretary. Arijit’s brother, Gopal Banerjee, has left for Uttarkashi.

The AMF secretary met minister for youth services Mohammad Salim on Saturday. “The minister said he would contact the Himachal Pradesh government,” said Mukherjee.

Manoj Mandal of Kanchrapara Quest, a mountaineering organisation, said: “Our member, Partha Dey, who is part of the team, has received serious injuries. He is now in Uttarkashi.”

According to Mandal, one of the guides, Pasang Sherpa, managed to come down with news of the disaster. “Another member, Sushanta Saha, from Haroa in the Basirhat sub-division, has reached the Gangotri basecamp. Team leader Kajal Sengupta, too, has managed to climb down.

“We have informed the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering and are in touch with the agencies in Uttarkashi,” said Mukherjee.

Dry taps

Filtered water supply to parts of Salt Lake, Dum Dum and south Dum Dum will remain suspended on Sunday. Supply will also remain suspended at Behala, Jadavpur, Tollygunge and Garden Reach from 10 am on Monday.

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