Dehradun: Despite closure of the portals of Kedarnath, over 400 workers are still engaged in reconstruction work at the Himalayan shrine which bore the brunt of last year's catastrophic deluge in Uttarakhand, Chief Minister Harish Rawat said here on Monday.
2500 people had lost their homes in last year's natural disaster out of which houses for 2400 have already been built, Rawat said at a meeting here to review the steps taken to reconstruct lives in affected areas attended among others by AICC General Secretary in charge of party affairs in Uttarakhand Ambika Soni.
About 4 lakh pilgrims came to the state on Char Dham yatra this year which will have its positive effect on the number of pilgrims to visit the four Himalayan shrines located in the state next year, he said.
Rawat said special divisions of the PWD, Irrigation and Disaster Management departments will be constituted which will be dedicated to work in the uneven hilly terrain of Kedarnath.
An institution on the lines of Nehru Mountaineering Institute which has done commendable job in the reconstruction of Uttarkashi district will be set up in Munsyari too, he said.
Out of 60 helipad projects identified across the state, work has started on 12, he said.
Rudraprayag DM Raghav Langar gave a presentation on reconstruction work in Kedarpuri saying there will be no construction at the back of the temple.
Some vacant space will be left on either flank of the temple after consultations with the local teerth purohits and other stakeholders and an unclogged corridor will also be built in front of the temple so that it is visible from a distance.
After the meeting Soni expressed satisfaction at the steps taken by the state government for rebuilding lives in affected areas saying what had been done was beyond everyone's expectations.