Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Kedarnath on Friday, a day before the Himalayan shrine dedicated to Shiva is closed for six winter months.
Considering the “incomplete flood protection works and reconstruction of Kedarpuri that needs to be done”, Modi will be laying the foundation stone for projects “worth hundreds of crores of rupees”, Uttarakhand BJP president Ajay Bhatt told The Indian Express. This will be the PM’s second visit to Kedarnath in less than six months.
The town of Kedarpuri, which encompasses the Kedarnath shrine located at an altitude of 3,583 metres, had undergone devastation in June 2013 after a glacier lake breached due to heavy rainfall and caused flash floods in the river Mandakini, which passes through the Kedar valley.
Bhatt said, “Modiji has been thinking about the reconstruction of Kedarnath for quite some time. Over four years after the Kedarnath floods, not much work has been done, so Modiji will be launching projects for reconstruction of Kedarpuri.”
The projects include construction of houses for purohits of Kedarnath, repair of the bridle path to Kedarnath, construction of ghats in Kedarpuri, flood protection work near Mandakini and Saraswati rivers, and foundation-laying ceremony of a ‘samadhi sthal’ for Adi Sankara.
After offering prayers, amid tight security provided by 500 police personnel, six IPS officers and 10 gazetted officers, Modi will address the public from the shrine premises, Rudraprayag SP Prahlad Meena said. The PM will reach Kedarnath at 10 am and be on the shrine premises for one and a half hours, he added.
At least 4,000 people, including Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Rawat and state ministers and BJP workers, are expected to be present on the Kedarnath premises.
The PM visited Kedarnath on May 3, when the doors of the shrine were opened after the winter break.