Following the devastation in the Kedarnath shrine area during the 2013 flood, the Uttarakhand government has drafted a master plan for the planned development of Kedarpuri, the area comprising the temple and its surroundings, to ensure that natural calamities do not affect the pilgrimage site in the future.
In the first phase of the master plan’s implementation, a 300m-long and and 50-ft wide approach path connecting the temple with the bailey bridge on the Saraswati river, has been prepared with interlocking tiles. Rudraprayag administration has decided to replace it with a concrete bridge by November 2016.
The government estimated that the cost of implementing the master plan would come to nearly Rs 250 crore, which will be shared by state and Centre.
The state government, through a Cabinet decision, has prohibited private and public construction behind the temple.
Rudraprayag district magistrate Raghav Langer said, “Devastation during the 2013 floods has given us an opportunity to redevelop the area in a scientific manner and ensure safe and convenient stay for devotees.” He claimed that land acquisition for the approach path and the 30ft landscape on both sides of the temple platform had been completed.
Langer said the district administration, public representatives and the Teerth Purohit families — who own the land on which lodges and dharamshalas have been built — have negotiated over the proposal of their resettlement and implementation of the master plan.
The buildings within 50 ft of the approach path and within 30 feet on each side of the temple platform were grouped under a special category and given compensation of Rs 26,990 per sq m.
To acquire land for the approach path and land on sides of the already 70 ft wide temple platform, 85 agreements have been signed in the past three and a half months. The district magistrate said the government will develop 6281.52 sq m of covered area from its own resources to resettle the displaced families.
“The buildings will be designed according to new scientific methods to ensure that calamities do not affect them,” Langer said.