Cabinet approves roadmap for reconstruction around Kedarnath

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat today held a meeting of the state cabinet at Kedarnath to give the final seal of approval to a roadmap for reconstruction work around the Himalayan shrine which bore the brunt of the catastrophic deluge last year.

PTI| Updated: Oct 20, 2014, 21:12 PM IST

Dehradun: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat today held a meeting of the state cabinet at Kedarnath to give the final seal of approval to a roadmap for reconstruction work around the Himalayan shrine which bore the brunt of the catastrophic deluge last year.

Besides approving the blueprint of reconstruction work around the famed temple and adjoining areas, the cabinet also decided to assign the rebuilding work around the shrine to the Badri-Kedar temple committee which will implement it in consultation with the Archaeological Survey of India, Chief Minister Harish Rawat announced at a press conference held here soon after his return from the high altitude temple.

Prepared by the state disaster management department, the roadmap has been commended and accepted by everyone, the Chief Minister said.

As per the blueprint approved by the Cabinet, reconstruction work around the temple will be carried out in six phases and would include building a good quality motor road between Rudraprayag and Sonprayag, Rawat said.

No construction would be allowed within 50 metre radius of the Himalayan shrine and all building operations will be carried out as per recommendations of the GSI and after taking local residents into confidence and local circumstances into account, he said.

Kedarnath MLA Shailarani Rawat and Badri-Kedar temple committee chief Ganesh Godiyal also attended the cabinet meeting as special invitees.

Barring the main opposition BJP, all other parties went to Kedarnath to make a first hand assessment of the ground realities in Kedar valley and have a look at the roadmap for reconstruction approved by the cabinet, Rawat said.
Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Ajay Bhatt termed the cabinet meeting at the Himalayan shrine an eyewash and a sheer waste of public money.

"The state government squandered crores of rupees over taking the entire cabinet and officials in choppers to Kedarnath for a meeting which lasted just for an hour.

Cabinet decisions made public there had been taken in Dehradun itself.

"There can be no justification for spending crores of rupees over something which could have been done in just a few hundred rupees in the state capital," Bhatt told PTI.

Alleging that flood-hit people in Sonprayag are up in arms against the state government due to non-payment of compensation to them, he said it would have been better if Harish Rawat government spent the money blown up over the cabinet meeting at Kedarnath over reconstruction and rehabilitation of a village in the affected area.