Chardham yatra to start on May 2

Chardham yatra to start on May 2

Chardham yatra to start on May 2

All preparations are complete for the start of Chardham yatra from May 2 with the road from Rudraprayag to Joshimath on way to Badrinath fully black-topped and the snow-clogged highway leading to the Himalayan shrine cleared of snow and opened to traffic, Chief Secretary Subhash Kumar today said.

The damaged stretch at Bhimtalla has been repaired but some work remains to be done on a 300 metre patch from Joshimath to Lambhagad Binakoli.

However, that is not going to interrupt the yatra slated to begin from May 2 with the opening of the sacred portals of Gangotri and Yamunotri in Garhwal Himalayas, the chief secreraty who is currently touring Rudraprayag, Chamoli and Uttarkashi districts to assess preparedness for the annual pilgrimage said.

700 volunteers of Nehru Institute of Mountaineering  are at work on the pedestrian route between Rudraprayag and Gaurikund on way to Kedarnath to finish it by May 4 when the famed Himalayan temple is scheduled to be reopened after the winter break, he said.

Giving credit for the fast paced reconstruction of the yatra route to the combined efforts of the BRO, PWD and the Nehru Mountaineering Institute, he said by installing its additional plants in the area the PWD had helped a great deal in accomplishing the daunting task despite a prolonged spell of bad weather which saw heavy snowfall in the higher reaches in the last week of April.

Power and water connectivity is restored along the yatra route and about 150 people of Kedarnath-Badrinath temple committee are working overtime at the Himalayan shrine to give final touches to the preparations, he said.

The repair work of the road between Ghaghariya to Pulna in Govindghat will also be complete by the April 30 deadline, he said.

Claiming that Chardham pilgrims will have a better travel experience this year than in the past, Kumar said special attention is being paid to the arrangements with senior officials deputed for the purpose focusing on safety and convenience of devotees.

He also refuted reports in a section of the press that there will be a restriction on the movement of heavy vehicles from Joshimath to Badrinath.

The movement of heavy vehicles coming from outside the state in the area will be regulated but all the vehicles plying within the state can move freely between Joshimath and Badrinath, he said.

The portals of Kedarnath are slated to open on May 4 followed by those of Badrinath on May 5.

Badrinathpuri and areas close to it are still snowbound but efforts are underway on a war footing to clear the snow in the next couple of days, temple committee CEO B D Singh said.

Though roads are clear, there will be snow on the hillsides along the chardham route when devotees visit the shrines this year, he said.

Char Dham comprises pilgrimages sites including Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath.

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