Pilgrimage to Yamunotri suspended

Dehradun: Rain-triggered landslides today blocked vehicular traffic at Banas in Uttarkashi district prompting authorities to suspend the pilgrimage to Yamunotri.

Authorities had yesterday suspended the pilgrimage to Badrinath and Hemkund Sahib, after landslides destroyed parts of highway at Lambagar, Vishnuprayag and Pandukeshwar in Chamoli district where hundreds of pilgrims remain stranded.

An official of the Disaster Management Mitigation Centre (DMMC) here said the yatra to Yamunotri was suspended due to landslides at Banas area.

The district administration has moved its resources to clear the debris and repair the roads, but it could take a couple of days to resume the vehicular traffic on the Vishnuprayag-Pandukeshwar road, officials said.

The Uttarakhand government has roped in Border Road Organization (BRO), ITBP and state police for making temporary road arrangements.

"We are trying our best to make all sort of arrangements for the safe return of the pilgrims stranded near the Badrinath temple," District Magistrate of Chamoli, Neeraj Semwal said.

Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank is monitoring the entire situation, an official spokesman said.

The yatra to Gangotri shrine also remained suspended since Friday, after a road had caved in at Bhatwari area due to landslides.