A number of measures like the transshipment facility and deployment of rescue teams for evacuation of people have been initiated for the Char Dham yatra, chief minister Harish Rawat said.
“These and several other measures have been initiated so that people could be immediately evacuated, in case a natural calamity of the kind that hit this religious circuit last year repeats itself,” informed Rawat in an interview to HT here in the state capital on Saturday.
Giving details, he said, “Jawans of the state disaster response force (SDRF) had been deployed at several places enroute the yatra.”
According to him, the gel mat technology was also being used in roads criss-crossing the holy shrines. “This latest technology lets water seep in the ground while allowing people a smooth passage even if roads are covered with slush and debris due to the rain-induced landslides,” the CM said.
Labourers have also been deployed at different places so that roads could be immediately cleared of debris in case of landslips. Communication network has also being strengthened. “besides, intense patrolling is also being carried out in and around Kedarnath area to check if any lake formation had taken place in the snow covered high altitude areas,” the CM informed.
Protection walls have also being set up around the Kedarnath temple besides training the course of the Mandakini. Similarly, the drainage system in and around Badrinath has also been strengthened.
“Besides, the road linking Kedarnath and Rudraparayag and the Tehri-Guptkashi-Mayali route are also being strengthened,” the CM said. According to him, unlike the preceding years, pilgrims were being allowed entry into the Char Dhams following their registration at four places — Narsan, Rishikesh, Guptkashi and Govindghat. “The arrangement has been put in place so that we have records of all the pilgrims available with us,” the CM said.
Rawat also strongly denied the reports that the number of pilgrims this year was small as the people were still scared.