Rescue personnel build bridges for pilgrims

The evacuation of 3,500 stranded pilgrims in Badrinath may become easier in the next few days as the Army engineers have set up a temporary bridge at Lambagar in the Badrinath-Joshimath stretch for light vehicle movement.

The class-III bridge at Lambagar, 5 km from Govindghati and 15 km from Badrinath, is hinged to huge rocks on both sides of the swelling river. It is strong enough to sustain light vehicle movement and will help to quickly evacuate people from Badrinath by foot.

The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) on Wednesday built a foot bridge at Pandukeshwar across the Alaknanda river near Govidgaht on the Joshimath-Badrinath axis.

The Army engineers are setting up a second class-III bridge at Sonprayag, en route to Kedarnath. But they are facing difficulties because of the rising water level in the Songanga river, over which the bridge will be set up.

As the Songanga bridge was washed away in the deluge, the BRO constructed two improvised log bridges between Songanga and Gaurikund on the Rudraprayaga axis to help evacuate about 2,000 pilgrims from Gaurikund.

Efforts are being made to construct a foot bridge there for local people.

The Army has evacuated 225 people from Harsil near Gangotri. Another 1,000 people are still stranded. Besides, 408 people from Badrinath were rescued, leaving another 3,500 still stranded. The Army choppers could undertake only 12 sorties because of inclement weather.

Nine Indian Air Force (IAF) choppers carried out 64 sorties, airlifting 636 passengers.

Anyone can visit U’khand: Shinde
Realising that entry restriction to the flood-hit areas of Uttarakhand are being flouted by his own partymen, Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said anyone, including Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, can visit Uttarakhand, DHNS reports from New Delhi. The restrictions followed Modi’s aerial inspection of the state.

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