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Arunachal: Foot-based search ops for Tapi Mra, Niku Dao called off

Due to incessant raining, porters, army personnel and officers are facing trouble to cross Wapriyang Bung river.

SEPPA- The East Kamegn District Administration as of now has called off foot based Search Operation for Arunachal Mountaineer Tapi Mra and his associate Niku Dao, due to bad weather condition. Due to incessant raining, porters, army personnel and officers are facing trouble to cross Wapriyang Bung river. However Four Army Helicopters are on standby to be deployed as and when weather permits.

Even as the Arunachal Pradesh government along with the Indian Army pressed its men and machinery in the search and rescue operation for the ‘missing’ Everester Tapi Mra and his assistant Niku Dao, relentless rainfall continued to hinder the foot-based  search operation, official sources said on Tuesday.

Also Read-  Satellite imagery being utilise to trace Tapi Mra and Niku Dao

Arunachal’s first Everester Tapi Mra along with his companion went missing on August 17 while on an expedition to Mount Khyarisattam, one of the highest peaks in the East Kameng district.

East Kameng Deputy Commissioner Pravimal Abhishek Polumatla said the foot-based search, and rescue (SAR) operation continues to face challenges as persistent rain for the past few days has led to swelling of all rivers including Kameng, Kania and Wapriyang Bung.

Also Read- Despite the bad weather, Search operation for Tapi Mra, Niku Dao went ahead

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While citing the ‘heavy attrition rate’ among porters due to inclement weather and risky terrain beyond Veo village, he said even if the troops manage to cross Wapriyang Bung, it is extremely difficult to maintain supply chains or evacuate them in case of any emergency.

“As the water level is dangerously inereasing in Wapriyang Bung, foot-based SAR Op is called-off with immediate effect,” the DC informed.

Polumatla said the strategy going forward is to focus fully on plan-A i.e. to conduct a helicopter based Search and Rescue operation. “All preparations are in place for an effective and swift operation,” he added.

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Defence sources said the four Army helicopters based Search and Rescue team continues to remain on standby at Seppa, the headquarters of East Kameng district.

Meanwhile, on the same time, The five-member team of the Tagin Cultural Society (TCS), who are  overseeing the search & rescue operation, appealed to the district administration  to immediately repair the two suspension bridges in Veo village for the safety of the porters carrying ration and other items for the search and operation  teams.

The team said that the two suspension bridges en route to Khyari Satam are in a dilapidated condition and may collapse any time.

Tapi Mra is a celebrated mountaineer in North-East India and the very first person from Arunachal Pradesh to scale Everest. Mra belongs to the Tagin tribe from the Upper Subansiri district of the State. Mountains climbed by Tapi Mra include

  1. Island Peak or Imja Tse, (6160 m), Nepal – 24 April 2007.
  2. Mera Peak (6654 m), Nepal – 20 Jun 2008.
  3. Mount Everest (8848 m) – 21 May 2009.
  4. Uhuru Peak of Mount Kilimanjaro (5895 m) – 19 February 2010.
  5. Mount Kosciuszko (2228 m), Australia – 31 May 2011.

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