Uttarakhand rivers in spate; hundreds of pilgrims stranded
Zee Media Bureau/Deepak Nagpal
Dehradun: Hundreds of pilgrims continued to remain stranded in Uttarakhand on Thursday with heavy rains lashing the hill state.
The Char Dham Yatra to Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri has already been suspended in view of the heavy rains that have led to surge in major rivers across the state, with Mandakini and Alaknanda crossing danger marks.
Landslides have also blocked many routes in Uttarakhand.
The Rishikesh-Badrinath national highway and the road connecting Kedarnath-Gaurikund continue to remain blocked following heavy downpour and landslides.
A bridge constructed over the Saraswati river near Kalimath in Rudraprayag was washed away late Tuesday, after which 164 devotees returning from Kedarnath were stranded and have taken refuge in a government camp.
This bridge was constructed last year after another bridge on the river was washed away in the flash floods of June 16-17 last year.
As many as 300 pilgrims undertaking the Char Dham Yatra are reported to be trapped in Joshimath area en route to Badrinath.
Yoga guru Baba Ramdev is also stuck at Gangotri, along with over 400 students, after the road to Uttarkashi caved in at many places.
Yatra to Kedarnath has been suspended for safety reasons till July 18, informed Rudraprayag District Magistrate Raghav Langar said.
People in many areas adjacent to the rivers have also been asked to leave their houses and move to safety.
The state is on high alert after the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) warned of heavy rains in the days beginning Wednesday. The heavy rainfall that began on Tuesday night is expected to continue for the next three days as well.
Thousands of pilgrims were killed or went missing after unprecedented rains inundated the higher reaches of the state on June 16-17 last year.
(With Agency inputs)
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