Recovery of 17 more skeletal remains in the Kedar Valley, a year after thousands got swept away by floods in Uttarakhand on the night of June 16, 2013, has put the role of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) under sharp scrutiny.
Uttarakhand, recovering from an unprecedented natural disaster last year, is all geared up to revive its tourism sector and pinning hopes on a good response to the annual Chardham Yatra beginning next month.
The cleaning up of debris and razing of damaged buildings in flood-affected Kedarnath area, which could not be started due to frequent rains in the monsoon season, will begin after the Dussehra festival.
Three months after tragedy struck the pilgrim town of Kedarnath, it still remains cut off with no approach roads, bodies still trapped under mounds of debris and scared villagers migrating to the cities - with some even planning to never return to the hill region exalted as the `Land of Gods`.
As the clock stuck seven on Wednesday morning, the chief priest of Kedarnath stepped into the sanctum-sanctorum of the 6th century shrine to resume prayers; 86 days after ravaging floods destroyed the temple town and left hundreds dead.
The Archaeological Survey of India will begin restoration work of Kedarnath Temple, damaged by devastating floods in June, from next week and the estimated cost of the exercise will be around Rs 2.40 crore.
There has been no major harm to the Kedarnath temple in Uttarakhand in the recent flood fury except for dislodging of some stones which will be replaced, an Archaeological Survey of India official Friday said.
Heavy monsoon rains wreaked havoc in the hill states of Uttarakhand on June 16 and 17, with thousands of people affected and several hundreds dead. Himachal Pradesh was also hit by floods due to rains.
Minister for Culture Chandresh Kumari Katoch Wednesday said "outside help" was not required to restore Uttarakhand`s 11th century Kedarnath temple that was damaged in last month`s flash floods and landslides.
The Kedarnath Temple was "partially destroyed" and suffered serious damages in the recent floods but government would make all efforts to restore it to its "original glory", Minister of Culture Chandresh Kumari Katoch said.
Uttarakhand CM Vijay Bahuguna on Sunday turned down offers from his Gujarat counterpart Narendra Modi and others for reconstruction of the Kedarnath temple, saying it will be done by his government and the temple committee.
A team of experts from Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) will visit the Kedarnath temple in Uttarakhand to assess the quantum of damage caused by the flood fury and restoration required for the shrine.