Chardham shrines stockpile fuels, essentials for emergency situations
The Uttarakhand government doesn’t want to take any chance in this Chardham pilgrimage season. It is stockpiling daily essentials and other utility items to meet any emergency arising out of calamities such as landslides and earthquakesdehradun Updated: Apr 26, 2017 20:44 IST
Dehradun: The Uttarakhand government doesn’t want to take any chance in this Chardham pilgrimage season. It is stockpiling daily essentials and other utility items to meet any emergency arising out of calamities such as landslides and earthquakes.
All the Chardham shrines in Uttarakhand will keep stocks of firewood, cooking gas, kerosene, foodgrains and public utility material to meet emergency situations that could leave pilgrims stranded at the pilgrimage sites.
In 2013, the Kedarnath shrine was inundated in mud and slush. Several hundreds died in the flashflood which was triggered by a cloudburst. More than 70,000 pilgrims were left stranded at the Himalayan shrines and other locations in the state.
As per sources from the tourism department, around three quintals of firewood will be kept in reserve at each of the four pilgrimage sites of Gangotri, Yamunotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath shrines. Also, kerosene, LPG and food grains will also be kept in reserve for emergency situations.
“The decision was taken to meet the needs during emergency situations like earthquake, rainfalls, landslides, breaking of roads in hill areas. Every shrine and their managements will keep minimum three quintals of firewood in reserve. Forest department will also provide firewood to them. We have fixed the responsibilities for maintenance of roads, particularly the track from Gaurikund to Kedarnath shrine area,” tourism minister Satpal Maharaj told Hindustan Times.
“The public work department will be responsible for ensuring smooth movement of pilgrims on this track. Officials found guilty of poor upkeep of the roads will be dealt with severely.”
According to the minister, toilets will be constructed at such locations that pilgrims can avail them even if they are stranded after landslides. “Landslide zone signage along roads will be erected soon. During my recent survey of the Chardham routes, we found a large number of signages missing from their spots. It will be addressed soon. All important locations and crossings will have necessary signage for the convenience of pilgrims,” Maharaj added.