Rains lash Uttarakhand, 8 dead; Char Dham yatra suspended
Dehradun: Eight persons were killed in Uttarakhand on Sunday as incessant rains lashed the hill state causing landslips in the higher reaches and sweeping away several roads and bridges in Uttarkashi and Chamoli districts leading to suspension of the Char Dham Yatra.
Three persons of a family were killed when a house caved in at New Mithi Beri in Prem Nagar area of Dehradun this morning, Prem Nagar SHO Vikas Rawat said.
A 30-year-old man, his 26-year-old wife and 10-year-old child were killed, he said.
Five persons were killed and six injured after being hit by landslips in Rudrapayag district, disaster management officer Meera Kenthura said.
Four of them were killed near Bhim Gali at Rambara on Kedarnath pedestrian route while one was hit by a landslide near Gaurikund which is on way to the Himalayan shrine, she said.
Five stationary buses were also swept away by the relentless downpour which continues in the district, six persons injured in these landslips have been rushed to Gaurikund hospital, she said.
Both Mandakini and Alaknanda, major tributaries of the Ganga, are flowing over the danger mark and the bridge connecting Rudraprayag and Gaurikund has been damaged leading to its closure, she said.
Kedarnath yatra has been suspended in view of bad weather, the officer said.
Thousands of pilgrims headed for the Himalayan shrines of Gangotri and Yamunotri got stranded as the routes had to be closed due to landslips at various points including Pipalmandi, Baraki and Nalupani.
Hotels and dharamshalas in Uttarkashi district are bursting at the seams with char dham yatris occupying their lounges due to non-availability of rooms.
State Disaster Management and Rehabilitation Minister Yashpal Arya said the administration is on alert to deal with any emergency.
Stranded pilgrims and people living in areas close to the rivers in spate like the Ganga and Bhagirathi are being evacuated to safer places, he said.
The BRO is also busy repairing the roads damaged by rains, he said, adding that the state government has also sought the assistance of ITBP to clear the roads blocked due to landslides.
He also advised people not to travel to Uttarakhand until the weather clears up.
The state government has also announced Rs 1.5 lakh as
compensation to the kin of those killed in the house collapse incident in Dehradun.
A report from Uttarkashi, which has suffered the most due to rains, said that incessant rains during the last 36 hours swept away pillars of Tiloth bridge cutting off hundreds of villages including Tilot and Mandav from the district headquarters.
Gangotri highway had to be closed at five points leading to suspension of the yatra, District Magistrate R Rajesh Kumar said.
2,200 pilgrims are stranded at Gangotri and 1,500 at Yamunotri, he said. The stranded devotees have all been shifted to govt houses and relief camps.
Choppers will be pressed into service to ferry stranded passengers to safe places when the weather clears up, he said adding about 80 affected families have been evacuated to safer places already.
All arrangements are in place to deal with any emergency, he said adding ITBP`s help is also being taken in restoration work being hampered by continuing rains.
The Ganga river is flowing one metre above the danger mark at Haridwar, where houses in low lying areas have been flooded, Superintending Engineer (Irrigation) Vijay Vir Singh Yadav said.
The Delhi-Haridwar road near Patanjali yog peeth has also been damaged at places and most of the roads in the city are waterlogged, he said.
It has been raining in Haridwar for the past 48 hours, the official said adding the Bijnore administration has been alerted as swirling waters of the Ganga can flood villages in the area.
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