Govt looks for ways to reach Kedarnath on foothttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/govt-looks-for-ways-to-reach-kedarnath-on-foot/

Govt looks for ways to reach Kedarnath on foot

Chopper operations affected as rain continues to lash the region

With chopper operations to Kedar valley getting hampered by rain,the state government is now exploring ways to reach the Kedarnath temple on foot via the 30-km-long Chaumasi-Kalimath route. The road from Gaurikund to Kedarnath via Rambara was washed away in the floods.

Rain has also affected the efforts of 74-member team camping at the temple to trace bodies even as the stench from decomposing bodies become unbearable. The team uses satellite phones to contact senior officers camping at Guptakashi,Rudraprayag and Dehradun.

On Sunday,Rudraprayag district administration sent a 34-men team to explore the link between Kalimath and Kedarnath via Chaumasi. “This is an old trekking route. One can access the temple via Chaumasi on foot. We plan to use this route as an option to reach the temple,” Rudraprayag DM Dilip Jalwalkar said. He said the team has so far cremated about 100 bodies. On Sunday they cremated 16 bodies,which included five women and 11 men.

Rudraprayag is one of the worst-affected districts. Mandakini river,which originates from Kedar valley,covers major part of the district. “We now distribute the relief materials to villagers by road. All villages remain connected by road,” he said.

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But no relief work could be carried out in Chamoli,Pithoragarh and Bageshwar due to bad weather. “In Badrinath area of Chamoli,the helicopter could make only two sorties. However,no relief packet could be dropped in the villages of Pithoragarh and Bageshwar,” a government source said.

Though the two districts fall in Kumaoun region,the government has not set up any store room near Nainital. All the relief materials are being dumped in a hall on the Sport Stadium campus in Dehradun’s Raipur area. The relief materials which reach the state capital by train are also kept in the same hall.

“Had government opened a storage centre in Nainital or Haldwai,it would have been easy to send relief materials to the two districts,” a government source said.

Meanwhile,the water-level in Ganga is rising close to the danger mark in Haridwar. At 2 pm,it was 292.45 metre while danger mark is 294 metre. Rudraprayag received 21.2 mm rainfall on Sunday.