GUWAHATI, Sept 3 - A 10-member diving team from Eastern Naval Command along with associated diving equipment has been airlifted from Visakhapatnam by an IAF AN32 aircraft to assist the search operations in Dikhow river near Sivasagar where five members of a family drown on the night of September 1.
A defence spokesman said the Sivasagar district administration had sought Indian Navy�s diving assistance to locate the vehicle of Haren Bora which had been reported drowned along with five members of the family in Dikhow river at Dechial village.
NDRF and SDRF teams so far could not locate the car and the drowned persons due to difficult conditions posed to divers. Later, army divers were requisitioned by the State administration. A team of 14 divers of Army Special Forces unit under the Spear Corps based at Dimapur commenced the search in early morning hours today.
�The river is 70-80 metre wide with strong currents, making the search a slow and deliberate process. Due to the recent rains, the water has become muddy which is also delaying the search. Personnel of NDRF, local villagers are also assisting the army in the search operation,� the spokesman said.
Meanwhile, an official release said, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has spoken to the Prime Minister�s Office and the Union Home Ministry regarding the search and rescue operation of the missing family. Sonowal has also taken up the matter with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the Union Defence Ministry for help from the Indian Navy.
Meanwhile, two boats of Inland Water Transport (IWT) department have been kept as standby.
�Divers are going as deep as 40 ft in some areas. A total number of 10 boats have been pressed into service. Three teams from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), six teams from the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) � one each from Dibrugarh and Sivasagar, and two teams each from Jorhat and Golaghat � have been pressed into the search and rescue operation, apart from one team from the Indian Army. A total of 32 deep divers are engaged in the rescue operation.
These divers include eight from the NDRF, four each from Dibrugarh and Jorhat SDRF, three each from Sivasagar and Golaghat SDRF and 10 divers from the Para Commando of the Indian Army.
A total of 100 rescue personnel are engaged in the search and rescue operation, including 44 from NDRF, seven from Dibrugarh SDRF, 12 from Sivasagar SDRF, 10 from Jorhat SDRF, eight from Golaghat SDRF, 14 personnel from the Para Commando and five from Civil Defence.
ADGP Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta said echo sounder has been used in the rescue operation and this should be able to receive signal of object location in addition to depth. �Underwater cameras have also been deployed. Local fishermen with large nets are also on the job. Long bamboo poles are being organized and deep divers with sinkers are constantly on the job,� Mahanta said.