Ten days after heavy rains pounded Uttarakhand, the meteorological department on Monday warned of another round of incessant heavy rains in the next 48-hours while five people were found dead due to landslides a day earlier.
Boosted by a heart-warming performance in the assembly by-polls, a rejuvenated Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat is likely to rejig his 11-member Cabinet to replace some ministers for their "underperformance and irregularities".
Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat comfortably won the by-poll from Dharchula assembly seat by a margin of over 19000 votes. Rawat defeated BJP's BD Joshi in a direct fight between the Congress and BJP. Rawat polled over 30,000 votes.
Rescue workers turned schools into makeshift shelters and began helping evacuate hundreds of villagers in the upper reaches of Rudraprayag district after almost all the major river in Uttarakhand edged towards their danger mark on Wednesday.
It is essential to establish long-term ecological observatories to study climate change, writes Jairam Ramesh.
Instead of bringing joy and respite to the dusty mountains, the advent of monsoon has left the anxious locals in Dehradun praying for their safety and evasion of any calamity that might hit the state.
Though continuous downpour and debris from landslips at several points have blocked roads to Himalayan shrines and led to suspension of the char dham yatra for the fourth consecutive day on Saturday, no major loss to life and property has been reported so far, thanks to timely and effective weather predictions.
Heavy rains predicted for the next few days may force the Uttarakhand state administration to suspend the Char Dham pilgrimage until July 22. On Thursday, the government had suspended the pilgrimage for two days until July 18.
Pilgrimage to Kedarnath and Hemkunt Sahib will remain suspended at least till July 22 following heavy rain warning and blocked roads. “The pilgrimage may remain suspended depending on the weather forecast,” said Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat. “The district administration can take that decision.”
As the incessant rains continued to lash Uttarakhand on Sunday, the Rudraprayag district administration decided to suspend Kedarnath pilgrimage further till July 23 Wednesday. The administration had first suspended pilgrimage for two days on July 16 then it was extended till July 20.
Polling for the three assembly seats in Uttarakhand started on Monday morning amid rains. The inclement weather has apparently forced voters to remain in homes. The Dharchula, Someswar and Doiwala seats recorded nearly 10% voting till the filing of this report.
The official machinery in Uttarakhand was put on high alert after the weatherman issued warning for "heavy rainfall" in the next three days, reviving memories of last year's deluge in the disaster-prone state.
Uttarakhand braced for monsoon fury as heavy overnight rains left all major rivers in spate and triggered landslides blocking key arteries in the disaster-prone state.
Monsoons are round the corner, but many of the Dehradun Municipal Corporation (DMC) projects that had got damaged last year due to heavy rains are yet to be repaired. With no government aid received last year to conduct post-disaster repair works and its own ailing financial health at present, the situation has inflicted a double whammy on Uttarakhand’s biggest civic body.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) may have swept the Lok Sabha elections in Uttarakhand last month, but the Congress seems to have bounced back from the drubbing and is ready to give it a tough fight in the upcoming bypolls for three Assembly seats.