Dehradun: Removal of debris at Kedarnath is likely to begin after resumption of prayers at the Himalayan shrine on September 11, officials said on Monday.
Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna is in favour of starting the debris-clearing exercise at the shrine only after the prayers, suspended over two months ago, are resumed, they said.
"Actually, the priority now is to resume prayers at the shrine. Rest of the things can be taken up after that," an official said.
Officials of the Badrinath-Kedarnath Temple committee, priests and Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati`s representatives, who held a meeting with the Chief Minister yesterday, are strongly in favour of early resumption of the ritual worship arguing its prolonged suspension can be inauspicious, he said.
"The entire focus now is to put all the systems in place and ensure that the prayers start at the shrine on schedule. Rest of the things like debris-clearing and razing of dilapidated buildings will be taken up after that," another official said.
Clearing tonnes of debris at Kedarnath is a huge task which will entail moving heavy machines and stone cutting equipment like bulldozers and JCBs there, he said.
Besides, a helipad, big enough for MI 26 choppers to land, needs to be constructed close to the shrine so that heavy machines can be flown there, the official said.
Fabricated houses for officials and personnel to be engaged for the cleaning process also have to be built, he said.
"If we begin doing all that now, we may miss the deadline for resumption of prayers.
"The cleaning is an elaborate process and it may be accomplished if it is taken up after the prayers are resumed," the official said.
Incidentally, the process of debris removal at the shrine, which bore the brunt of the mid-June natural calamity, has already been delayed due to monsoon vagaries.