Dehradun: A majority of roads and bridges damaged by the flash floods in Uttarakhand would be repaired by September 30, Road Minister Oscar Fernandes said on Wednesday.
Despite heavy rains hampering construction work, road restoration work is being conducted at rapid pace to restore transportation links, Fernandes told reporters after reviewing repair and reconstruction works here.
Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna, who was with Fernandes, said the worst is over and his government is working to restore normalcy in the flood-affected areas.
"Worst time has passed now and we are on a path of recovery. Government is working to provide relief in affected areas and bring normalcy there along with starting Chardham yatra again," Bahuguna said.
Fernandes said of the 2,138 damaged roads, repair of 1,709 roads has already started and workers are being deployed to repair the remaining roads as well.
Several bridges had been washed away in the floods and to reconstruct them would not be easy, he said, adding that most of the repair work of roads and bridges would be completed before September 30, but some might go on in October as well.
Bahuguna said he had discussed with Fernandes methods of flood control and need for alternate routes to Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, Yamunotri and Sikh Gurudwara Hemkund Sahib shrines.
He said Kedarnath temple committee members are cleaning the premises after which daily prayers will be started there.
"Engineering Projects India Limited has been given the work for removing debris in Kedarnath area, which will be started soon. We are also seeking advice from Archaeological Survey of India and Geological Survey of India," he said.
Due to bad weather, equipment and machines to remove debris have not reached Kedarnath. As soon as the climate improves, we will start the work, he said.
Fernandes said to accommodate the increasing number of pilgrims visiting the holy places in the state, strategic roads would be widened.
Tunnels would also be constructed at some places to reduce the travel time and technical aspects were under consideration for this, he said.
Fernandes said 200 `slip zones` had been detected in the state and appropriate treatment would be given to the areas before constructing roads there.