Uttarakhand BJP on Thursday questioned the rationale of the “haste” showed by the state government in starting the ‘char dham’ yatra when roads damaged in the last year’s flash floods were ‘not repaired’.
BJP MP from Pauri and former state chief minister Bhuvan Chandra Khanduri accused Harish Rawat government of failing to conduct the yatra.
“This year’s yatra was not worth its name. Frequent suspensions, negligible number of people visiting the shrines don’t qualify it to be called a yatra.
“100-150 buses used to go to the Himalayan shrines ondaily basis, this year the number has come down to 10-15 buses a day. Is this how the yatra is conducted?” Khanduri asked. He claimed that the yatra route is still not repaired.”What was the hurry to restart the yatra when the roads had not been fully repaired.
“There is no road to Kedarnath after Sonprayag even a year after the calamity, the Rishikesh-Badrinath highway is also blocked almost on a daily basis at Lambagad.
“Half-a-dozen or a dozen pilgrims at the most are allowed to visit the shrines when the weather clears up. In my assessment the state government has totally failed to conductthe yatra,” he said. He also attributed the poor condition of roads to PWD repairing quite a few of them.
“Repairing roads in high altitude areas is not the PWD’s cup of tea. It doesn’t have the resources, the training and the work culture to build and repair roads in difficult hilly terrain.
“I always wanted the then UPA government at the Centre to provide funds to the BRO and entrust it exclusively with the task of reconstructing the damaged roads in the hills,” he said.
The former chief minister regretted if his advice was heeded the condition of roads in the ‘char dham’ area would have been far better.
If conditions like these persist the yatra next year will also be a failure, he warned.