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Date: 30 April 2019

Cutting of mountains for Char Dham road to stop from April 30 and Other News

Uttarakhand News
News

Click on the links below for details

Cutting of mountains for Char Dham road to stop from April 30

Over 100 pilgrims from Delhi, Haryana, UP take part in maiden Timarsain yatra

Badri-Kedar traditional trek routes to be revived

Need to accelerate the pace of Chardham work

Trek group begins Tapovan & Kedar Tal Expedition

Cutting of mountains for Char Dham road to stop from April 30

Uttarakhand News


To ensure that no road accidents are reported on the route to the Char Dham Yatra which is set to commence from May 7, a decision has been taken to stop mountain cutting work for the all-weather road project from April 30.

Officials said that all debris on the route generated due to the construction work will be removed before May 7. They added that the state machinery has also identified landslide zones on the Char Dham route and rescue teams are being deployed at locations in a manner that they reach the affected site within 10 minutes.

Sharing more information, commissioner of Garhwal BVRC Purushottam said, “To prevent any landslide, the cutting work would be stopped altogether. Besides, teams would be stationed around the locations where the work is being done, so that in case of any emergency, the boulders are removed and traffic is resumed quickly.”

He added that an elaborate study of the landslide zones on the Char Dham route has been carried out. “At every 2 km, a survey has been done. Our district emergency operation centre would be active for 24 hours and a number of police, revenue and Public Works Department (PWD) staff would be present there. In addition, machines required to clear debris would be kept at key locations and drivers would be provided to police and revenue teams. State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) teams would also be present at key locations on the route,” he added.

The issue of ATMs was also discussed in the meeting presided over by tourism minister Satpal Maharaj on Monday. The state government is planning to contact RBI officials to ensure that ATMs on the Char Dham route are refilled regularly so that pilgrims are not inconvenienced. The number of buses operation from Rishikesh and Haridwar has also been doubled in view of the rush expected during the yatra. Earlier, four buses each left from Rishikesh and Haridwar at 8 am every day, but now the number has been increased to 8 buses each from Rishikesh and Haridwar.

“Around 50 city buses of Dehradun will also operate on the Char Dham route,” Purushottam added. On being asked about accommodation of pilgrims at Kedarnath after the damage caused to fabricated huts, he said that the district authorities are setting up 100 tents to meet the accommodation requirements of pilgrims.

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Over 100 pilgrims from Delhi, Haryana, UP take part in maiden Timarsain yatra

Uttarakhand News


With the state government maintaining distance from the Timarsain Yatra which is on the lines of the famed Amarnath Yatra due to model code of conduct being in place currently, the locals of the region through their own resources started the pilgrimage on Monday.

In the first day, the pilgrimage got a good response with over 100 pilgrims from Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Uttarakhand trekking up to Timarsain to offer prayers. Located in the Niti valley of Joshimath, picuresque Timarsain witnesses the formation of shiva lingas during winter and the locals for past few decades have been offering obeisance there.

Taking note of the fact, the state government had decided to start a pilgrimage on this route after noting the potential of the yatra to draw national as well as international pilgrims. Earlier, the plan was to start the yatra from the February 10 but his was postponed due to heavy snow cover on the route leading to the Niti valley.

The project was first postponed to February 27 and then to March 4. However, with the implementation of poll code, it was difficult for the state machinery to focus on the yatra.

To reach Timarsain, one has too trek 3.5 km and pilgrims are expected to return on the same day after spending few hours at Timarsain.

Political analyst Udit Ghildiyal, who was part of the trek group, said that “It was heartening to see that pilgrims from other states also came for the religious trip. Pilgrims were mesmerized by the view. With proper support, the yatra can be developed in to a major one.”



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Badri-Kedar traditional trek routes to be revived

Uttarakhand News


Police in Uttarakhand are now working on reviving the traditional routes from Rishikesh to Kedarnath and Badrinath along the banks of Ganga to facilitate quick access during emergencies as well as promoting adventure tourism. A 13 member team, including two women officers from the department embarked on a trek from Lakshman Jhula in Rishikesh on April 20 to explore the possibilities on both routes. The plan, sources said, had been mooted after the Kedarnath tragedy that killed around 5,000 in 2013.

Sharing more information regarding the move, DB law and order Ashok Kumar, said that the team trekked on the Khankara-Rudraprayag route on Saturday. He added, “Till 1947, pilgrims trekked hundreds of kilometers to offer obeisance in the Himalayan dhams. However, after construction of roads, these routes were not being frequently used.”

He added that these routes could help vastly in rescue operations in case of emergencies. “In the 2013 floods, many roads were washed away. Also, during heavy rains, it becomes difficult to even operate helicopter services. Under such a scenario, an alternate route will be of great help to carry out rescue operations.”

Besides use in emergencies, the traditional routes also have the potential to be developed for adventure tourism activities.

Old timers say that the concept of chatty – a small shelter for pilgrims where they could rest and have food – was unique to these traditional routes. “Earlier, Nandprayag, Karnaprayag and Srinagar were chattis which later developed into towns. Similarly, on the Kedarnath route, too, Rudraprayag and Agastyamuni were chattis, which over the years developed into towns.” Said Jay Singh Rawat, a former media professional.



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Need to accelerate the pace of Chardham work

Uttarakhand News


Ahead of the Char Dham Yatr awhich is scheduled to begin on May 7, the vice president of Char Dham Vikas Parishad, Shiv Prasad Mamgai, inspected yatra preparations at Yamunotri and Gangotri shrines during a visit on Saturday.

During his meeting, Magmai expressed dissatisfaction over the pace of work at the two shirne towns and asked officials to fast track before the yatra commences. “Incomplete restoration work at Yamunotri shrine, untreated Ojari-Dabarkot slide zone, damaged bathing ghats at Janki Chatti and poor solid waste management system is going to create trouble for pilgrims.

The situation is similar at Gangotri shrine where damaged ghats are going to add to the difficulties of pilgrims,” Magmai said. He added, “We are going to submit a detailed report to the CM regarding the issue , so that the government can take necessary action. Besides, we have also directed the officials to take measures to upgrade basic facilities before yatra beings.”



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Trek group begins Tapovan & Kedar Tal Expedition

Uttarakhand News


The first trekking group of the season began its Tapovan and Kedar Tal expedition from Gangotri National Park (GNP) in Uttarkashi on Friday, 26 April 2019. The 6 member group including two foreign nationals –from Canada and New Zealand –embarked on a weeklong expedition that was flagged off by officials of Uttarkashi Trekking and mountaineering Association.

Trek group leader Mahaveer Singh said that “In the first phase of the expedition, we will cover a distance of 23 km to reach Tapvan situated at an altitude of 4329 meters crossing Bhojwasa and Gaumukh. Subsequently, we will move towards Kedar Tal, which is situated at an altitude of 4912 meters. We will return to Uttarkashi on May 2.”

Usually, the gates to Gangotri National Park are opened on April 15 every year, but his year it was delayed by 10 days due to excessive snowfall in the region. “The conditions are now suitable for trekkers and mountaineers, who are associated with registered agencies, “said Jayendra Rana, president of Uttarkashi Trekking and mountaineering Association.

As for other tourists and pilgrims, the gates to GNP are expected to open on May 7, after the restoration work get completed. “We hope that the number of tourists will increase in Gaumukh and other nearby areas of the park from last year, which saw a footfall of 13,405 tourists including 1.320 foreign national,” said Pratap Panwar, a GNP ranger.



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