MUMAI:  A 25 member team from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are on the way to the famous Chinchoti waterfall located in the interior of the Tungareshwar Bird sanctuary in Vasai, where 35 picnickers are stranded and 5 are missing. The group from various locations in Mumbai,Vasai were at the waterfall to enjoy the monsoons, when the water level started to rise to the incessant downpour and many are stranded. The Coast Guard,Dahanu is also coordinating with the NDRF,to trace and rescue the missing picnickers. We do not no the exact number of picnickers at the spot,said a Vasai official.

The NDRF team is led by Inspector Purshottam Rana from the Response Centre, Andheri and consists of atleast 5 divers, who are equipped with deep diving sets, oxygen cylinders, floating buoys, jackets and other equipments,said PSI Anant Babhulkar of the NDRF centre. We received late information from the local administration, about the incident, and the team is proceeding by road, said the official.

Said a senior Coast Guard official from Dahanu, we are coordinating with the local agencies and will send a chopper to trace the missing people.Said a Vasai civic fire brigade official, the approach road is bad, and due to the monsoons,it is difficult to reach the spot, and our team are walking 3 to 5 kms inside the jungle to reach the waterfall. Many of the picnickers are clinging on to tree branches,said the official, and we are here to rescue them,he added. Due to the weekend, and the torrential downpour, many local picnickers arrive at the scenic Chinchoti waterfall to enjoy the monsoon, and are lured by the waters, but due to sudden rise in water levels and strong currents, many people meet a watery grave, as they are swept away by the waters, said Jayesh Chiplunkar, a Fire Brigade official.