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Gaurav Talwar| TNN | Dehradun | Jul 17, 2016:: The incessant rainfall across Uttarakhand has also disrupted the traditional Char Dham Yatra with over 900 Hindu-Sikh pilgrims being stopped on the way to Badrinath and Hemkund Sahib at different places in Chamoli district.
According to state emergency operation centre (SEOC), about 541 pilgrims en route to Badrinath shrine were halted at different places due to recurring landslides on Rishikesh-Badrinath National Highway at Lambagad and Kanchanganga. In all, 59 roads remained obstructed in Chamoli district.
Superintendent of Police (SP) Chamoli, Priti Priyadarshani, told TOI, “The pilgrims who are Badrinath have been asked not to leave their hotels until the roads get cleared. While the pilgrims were proceeding towards Badrinath were either stopped Joshimath. In case of Hemkund Sahib, pilgrims were halted at Govindghat.”
On the other hand, Rishikesh-Gangotri and Rishikesh-Yamnotri highway remained open for small and heavy vehicles. On Saturday, about 155 kanwarias had gone to collect Ganga water from Gaumukh in Uttarkashi district. While coming back, they were stranded at Devgadh after a wooden bridge was washed away by the swollen Bhagirathi River.
“We had sent National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), forest and search and rescue teams of district to help the stranded Kanwaria. Almost 147 of them were helped in crossing the river while eight preferred to stay back as they were tired. The rescued Kanwarias were safely taken to Gangotr,” said Dipendra Chaudhary, district magistrate (DM) of Uttarkashi.
He also said that district administration has decided to not allow any Kanwar to go beyond Gangotri shrine until the weather condition improves.
Speaking on the flood like conditions caused by Bhagirathi River near Gangotri temple, DM Uttarkashi said that the water level in the river has increased and couple of Ghats near the shrine have also submerged in the waters. “We have advised the people living near the river bank to move in higher places,” Chaudhary told TOI.