Preparations are in full swing in Uttarakhand’s Chardham in view of President Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to Badrinath on May 6, which will be preceded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to Kedarnath, officials said.
Chardham includes four shrines -- Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath.
Mukherjee will attend the ceremonial reopening of the portals of the Badrinath shrine. Modi will visit Kedarnath on May 3 to attend the ceremony to mark the opening of the shrine gates.
On Wednesday, Garhwal commissioner Vinod Sharma and deputy inspector general (DIG) Pushpak Jyoti visited Badrinath and reviewed preparations for the President’s visit.
Sharma directed officials to remain vigilant so that preparations were foolproof. He asked them to ensure that pilgrims visiting Badrinath were not inconvenienced while participating in the ceremonial reopening of the shrine gates.
“Sharma inspected VIP guesthouses run by Badri-Kedar Temple Committee (BKTC) and directed its officials to ensure high-level arrangements in view of the VIP visit,” an official note said.
Sharma also reviewed the arrangements for the Chardham yatra (pilgrimage) that starts from May 3. The arrangements include maintenance of roads, water, power and food supplies, health facilities and amenities that will help maintain hygiene.
He directed officials to initiate action within 10 minutes of the Chardham roads getting blocked by rain-induced landslides or snowfall. Officials were asked to ensure alternative arrangements in case of power failure during the presidential visit. They were also directed to ensure that the route between the army helipad and the Badrinath shrine “is in sound condition.”
Officials at Kedarnath said preparations for the Prime Minister’s visit were almost complete. Arrangements relating to the helipad where the chopper carrying Modi would land had been put in place, they said. “The road from the helipad to the Kedarnath shrine where the Prime Minister will attend the ceremonial reopening of its gates is perfectly in order,” an official told HT on condition of anonymity.
The temple premises and the area around it were being spruced up, officials said. The 16-km trek between Kedarnath and Sonprayag was in sound condition after repair works at some places were carried out and the snow was removed, they said. “Besides, bio digester toilets and other hygiene-related arrangements had been put in place along the trekking route,” the official said.
Officials refused to disclose details relating to security arrangements being put in place in the twin shrine towns.