Even as the roads leading to Kedarnath shrine in Uttarakhand are in bad shape, the authorities have decided to reopen the shrine for the pilgrims on May 4.
The portals of the revered Hindu shrine Kedarnath will be thrown open for the pilgrims on May 4. The shrine was closed in mid way in June during last year's disastrous flashfloods that killed nearly 5,000 pilgrims.
The dates to reopen shrine were decided by the priests at Ukhimath temple in the Garhwal region where the idol of Kedarnath is placed during winters. According to programme, the portals will be opened at 6am on May 4.
The char dham yatra is opened for six months in a year. However, after the mid June disaster last year, the yatra was halted mid way. Later in October the yatra to Kedarnath was resumed through a difficult trekking route.
The dates to open portals of Badrinath had already been announced, i.e. May 5.
Though government has claimed that roads leading to Kedarnath will be repaired before the beginning of pilgrimage in May,the ground realities suggests something else.
Border Roads Organisation (BRO) that looks after the national highway leading to Kedarnath is reportedly short of funds. Uttarakhand chief secretary Subhash Kumar had recently requested officials at the Centre to expedite roads repair work.
Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat had also asserted that road repair work was top priority for the government. Ajayendra Ajay, flashflood victim in Augustmuni here, says that the pace of reconstruction works is very slow.
Pilgrimage must be resumed but the state has to take challenge to put things in order in due course of time, Ajay added.