Rains disrupt Char Dham Yatra, president fails to reach Kedarnath

Dehradun, June 23 (IANS) Heavy rains and inclement weather have disrupted the annual ‘Char Dhaam Yatra’ which takes devotees to the shrines of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamunotri and Gangotri.

Heavy rains have lashed the region in the past 48-hours, leading to stoppage of the air service to Kedarnath shrine, which was ravaged in the flash floods in 2013 that killed thousands.

Pilgrimage to Badrinath was also hit for more than 12 hours on Wednesday with a big land slide on the Badrinath highway. Cavalcade of the state’s home minister Preetam Singh, who was going for inspection was also held up for more than an hour due to a land block.

Officials informed that a lot of mud had slipped on to the Kedarnath highway after heavy rains in Soneprayag and the helipad was also damaged, leading to abandoning of the chopper service to Kedarnath.

Inclement weather also played truant for the high-profile visit of President Pranab Mukherjee who had gone to the hill state on Wednesday to have ‘darshan’ of Kedarnath. He was stuck at Gauchar for more than an hour but the weather did not permit the MI-17 that was to take him to Kedarnath to take off.

After more than one hours of waiting, Mukherjee left for Dehradun and in the evening flew back to New Delhi without the pilgrimage being accomplished.

–IANS

md/vr

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