Damaged roads have stretched the distance from Rishikesh to Kedarnath and Badrinath manifold. The actual distance between Rudraprayag and Guptkashi on Kedarnath highway is 45 km which can be covered in 90 minutes. But persistent rain and landslides have destroyed the stretch so much that motorists have to take a detour through many villages for at least 6-8 hours to cover 138 km and reach there.
Fresh rain on Thursday and unconfirmed reports of another cloudburst in Srinagar has further damaged the highway that connects the two holy shrines from the mainland. The ITBP personnel returning from Kedarnath said under present conditions,roads cannot be repaired for at least a year.
Frequent landslides have damaged at least 3 km stretch between Rudraprayag and Augustmani and the 5 km stretch Rudraprayag and Kund. Road link to Tilwara and Guptkashi on Kedranath highway have been completely severed.
From Rudraprayag,Tilwara is 9 km away but now one has travel 40 km. The distance to Guptkashi has increased to 101 km.
The main road link from Gauchar to Hemkund Sahib and Badrinath too is in bad state despite personnel of Border Roads Organisation working hard to restore it.
If weather permits,the road from Rudraprayag to Tilwara can be opened in two days. Only then can the road between Augustmuni and Kund be repaired. We are trying to restore motor traffic on the affected stretches so that stranded people could be taken to safer places, said Mukesh Kumar,a senior BRO officer.