With official information of about 600 people from Uttar Pradesh stranded or missing in Uttarakhand five days after the State was ravaged by cloudbursts and flash floods, the recovery of about 45 unidentified bodies from the Ganga in Haridwar and three others from the Sharda in Pilibhit district on Friday has alerted the State authorities. There is a possibility that the bodies are of persons who were trapped in the deluge and washed downstream.

Both the rivers flow into Uttar Pradesh from Uttarakhand and Nepal respectively and had received heavy rainfall in their catchment areas. . An official spokespersonsaid that contact has been established with the Uttarakhand authorities in order to identity the deceased. The rescue and rehabilitation teams along the Ganga river-front in Ghaziabad, Bulandshahr and Bijnor districts have been put on maximum alert.

The three bodies washed downstream in the Sharda were recovered from Madho Tanda in Pilibhit district. Special Task Force Inspector General Ashish Gupta said the bodies werebadly mutilated and their identities are yet to be established. He said instructions have been given to the district police chiefs to collect DNA samples of the dead apart from conducting autopsies. .

Three other persons, including a 70-year old woman, were washed away in the swirling waters of the Sharda in Lakhimpur Kheri district. They have not been traced.

Since Thursday, the families of 300 persons missing or trapped in Uttarakhand have sent information to the control room set up at the office of the Director General of Police. Mr. Gupta said the information has been sent to the authorities in Uttarakhand. Another control room set up in the Relief Commissioner’s office in the State capital has received information about 285 other missing persons.

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has directed the Divisional Commissioners and District Magistrates to contact the families of those trapped in the State. Mr. Yadav has said the detailed information should be sent to the Lucknow control room. According to an official spokesperson, the Chief Minister has directed the Transport Department to ply 100 U.P. State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) buses on Delhi-Haridwar-Rishikesh road to take evacuated persons to their destination. The Joint Regional Manager of UPSRTC, B.P. Agarwal has been sent to Haridwar to coordinate with the Uttarakhand State Transport Corporation officials.

Mr. Yadav has said that the State’s residents should be taken to their home towns free of cost.

On the Chief Minister’s directive a control room has been set up in Lucknow. Information can be given on fax numbers: 0522-2238084 and 0522-2236305, and on phone numbers: 0522-2238200, 2236740 and 6451993. Information can also be emailed to: relief_commissioner@yahoo.com, mayank_relief@yahoo.com and sforellief2012@gmail.com