2,500 pilgrims stranded in Badrinath
The Kedarnath shrine and the Badrinath shrine yatras got suspended on Tuesday.
Chamoli District Magistrate S.A. Murugesan said, “A glacier has blocked the road around 5 kilometres ahead of Badrinath. Due to heavy rainfall the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) could not clear the road [on Tuesday], which is why the yatra to the Badrinath shrine was halted [on Tuesday].”
Mr. Murugesan said the BRO would possibly open the road on Wednesday for the yatra to resume.
All traffic, from and towards Badrinath, was stopped on Tuesday, which resulted in around 2,500 pilgrims getting stranded.
Kedarnath Yatra further suspended
Due to continuous snowfall in Kedarnath, the Kedarnath yatra has been suspended till May 15.
Rudraprayag District Magistrate Raghav Langer said the decision to further suspend the Yatra that was halted on May 11, was taken owing to continuous snowfall in Kedarnath and in the area around 5 km ahead of the shrine.
Mr. Langer said, “Based on the weather forecast and the weather conditions we have stopped any movement beyond Sonprayag for the next two days.”
The yatra was suspended on May 11. The suspension which was extended till May 13 has now been further extended by two more days.
The pilgrims who were stranded in Linchauli, which is 4 km ahead of Kedarnath, since May 11 have been moved and the area between Kedarnath and Sonprayag has been emptied of pilgrims. Only the officials on duty were in Kedarnath, Mr. Langer said.
Continuous snowfall since May 11 had resulted in 13 to 14 inches of snow in the Kedarnath area, he said.
Director of the Dehradun Meteorological Centre Anand Sharma said, “We are expecting very light to light rain in the areas like Kedarnath and Badrinath [On Wednesday]. The weather should improve after May 15.”
Expressing concern over the situation of the pilgrims, Chief Minister Harish Rawat said, “We are worried about the pilgrims but we cannot fight nature.”
Mr Rawat said that suspension of the Kedarnath and the Badrinath yatras was not the State government’s fault. No preparations could guarantee a safe yatra in bad weather, he said.