His figure is an embarrassment to CM Bahuguna, who puts it at 1,000

Uttarakhand Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal on Saturday embarrassed Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna, asking him to expeditiously locate and cremate over 10,000 bodies lying scattered or buried in slush in Kedarnath and nearby flood-hit areas to avert the outbreak of an epidemic.

Talking to reporters at Almora, Mr. Kunjwal said, “I believed, after touring Garhwal, that 4,000 to 5,000 people might have died but new inputs [from what some people have seen] point to the toll being above 10,000.”

However, Mr. Bahuguna has been maintaining that it is about 1,000 and that the exact figures will be known only after debris is cleared in Kedarnath and nearby areas.

Meanwhile, a large number of people, frantically searching for missing relatives or friends in Dehra Dun, Rishikesh and Haridwar, have questioned the government’s “motive” in not allowing the media to visit Rambara, near Kedarnath, where a large number of bodies are said to be lying.

Leader of the Opposition Ajay Bhatt, terming dismal the Bahuguna government’s efforts at reaching succour to the thousands of starving villagers across the Garhwal and Kumaon divisions, wanted the Centre to order the Army to rush food to villages that had been ravaged and cut off.