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Rain brings Chardham Yatra, life to a halt in Uttarakhand

June 17th, 2013 by The Tour Planners - Admin

DEHRADUN: The ChardhamYatra to Uttarakhand’s Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamnotri shrines in Garhwal division has come to a halt due to heavy landslides and landslips triggered by incessant rainfall in the last 24 hours.

Landslides were reported from over 12 places on the Rishikesh-Gangotri, the Dehradun-Yamnotri, the Rishikesh-Badrinath and the Rishikesh-Kedarnath National Highway. Yatra had begun on June 13.

Six hanging bridges built on Alaknada and Mandakini rivers in Chamoli and Rudrapryag districts were also reported to have collapsed on Sunday.

About 12,000 tourists and pilgrims on their way to Chardham Yatra are stranded on these routes.

Normal life was paralyzed by continuous rains in Dehradun and other places like Rishikesh, Haridwar, Haldwani and Udham Singh Nagar towns.

Uttarakhand government on Sunday sounded an alert in state after three members of a family identified as Khanya (30), Urmila (26) and Vivek (10) were buried alive after their single-storey house was flattened by a landslide in Dehradun. The disaster occurred at 4.50 am when these people were sleeping. Over 12 cases of house collapse were also reported from Garhwal and Kumaon divisions. No loss of life was reported from these cases.

A senior officer in the Uttarakhand disaster management department said while about 10,000 tourists on more 500 private buses and other four vehicles, are stranded on nine points on the Rishikesh-Gangotri and the Dehradun-Yamnotri National Highway, about 200 tourists and pilgrims are stranded on the Rishikesh-Badrinath and Rishikesh-Kedarnath National highway.

A senior Border Road Organization (BRO) officer in Rishikesh told TOI that 600 BRO personnel have been deployed on different Yatra routes to rescue these stranded people by shifting them to roadside intermediate colleges and primary schools in Uttarkashi, Chamoli and Rudrapryag districts.

He said seven bulldozers were also pressed into service to clear the landslides wreckage. BRO personnel on duty said the rescued people are being provided meals and tea to make them feel comfortable.

“We are moved by the way these residents of nearby villages are providing us whatever they can during our stay,” said 65-year Rajendra Singh from Ghaziabad. “We do not have words to express our gratitude to these villagers for to their warm hospitality,” said Leela Devi from Maharashtra.

Uttarkashi deputy magistrate R Rajesh Kumar said he asked officers concerned to ensure that stranded people on the Yatra routes are provide all possible facilities including medical care by doctors till the roads are cleared.

A senior officer in Dehradun Met office said the monsoons that was expected to arrive in Uttarakhand by June end, has come about two weeks early. He predicted incessant heavy rains for the next 48 hours in the state.

Source: The Times of India

Posted in Festivals, Himalayas, India, Places to Visit, Roads / Routes, Travel News

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