Team will be led by mountaineers Basanta Sinha Roy and Debhashis Biswas

A team of doctors and trekkers, led by mountaineers Basanta Sinha Roy and Debashis Biswas, is being sent by the West Bengal government to aid in the rescue efforts.

State Youth Affairs Minister Ujjwal Biswas told reporters at the Secretariat that the expertise of Mr. Sinha is expected to come handy in rescuing people who may be trapped amid rubble in the mountainous areas of Sikkim and Darjeeling.

Mr. Sinha has scaled both the Everest and the Kanchenjunga in the Himalayas.

Different route

Mr. Biswas said that the team of 10 would also have five doctors, including a woman doctor. “Given the fact that inclement weather and landslips were obstructing rescue efforts, they are planning to approach the affected areas through a different route.”

The Army is, however, continuing its search for the bus, which went missing with 22 passengers in north Sikkim.

Even as the official death toll was put at 12 for West Bengal, the State government said that it planned to set up 40 weather observation centres in the State.

Weather observation centres

Minister for Disaster Management Javed Khan said, “There is no weather observation centre in the State. We have a proposal from a private organisation for setting up such centres at 40 locations. Each centre will cost Rs. 1 crore.”

The proposal was under the government's consideration, he said adding once it was firmed up, help would be taken from the IIT-Kharagpur, the Bengal Engineering and Science University and the Jadavpur University for setting up the centres.

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