Chief minister Harish Rawat on Saturday will inaugurate projects at Kedarnath and its nearby areas worth Rs 180 crore. Officials said the reconstruction of the shrine town is at its peak after the Chardham was hit by the 2013 floods, which left thousands dead.
“The projects... will give a steady momentum to pilgrims flow into the shrine town,” chief principal secretary to the CM, Rakesh Sharma said. “The annual pilgrimage to the fabled religious circuit is likely to start from the first fortnight of April.”
The reconstruction of the flood hit shrine town began in 2014. “Two years later, most of the infrastructure — roads, bridges etc that had been washed away by the deluge in Kedarnath and nearby areas have now been reconstructed,” Sharma told HT.
Sharma said around 120 cottages were being built in the town. “Since that entire area has now recovered from the worst-ever floods, we expect that about three lakh yatris (pilgrims) will visit during the coming Chardham yatra (pilgrimage).”
Among many projects, Sharma said the chief minister would also dedicate to the public Bhimbali bridge—a crucial link to Kedharnath besides a helipad there (Bhimbali), apart from the multilevel parking at Sonprayag. Yet another crucial link to Kedarnath, the transit town of Sonprayag was left badly ravaged by the swollen river Mandakini, one of the tributaries of the river Ganga that originates from the Himalayan state.
One of the portions of the multilevel parking will house the office of the Disaster Management and Mitigation Centre (DMMC) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF).
The CM will also dedicate to the public an ACRA bridge on the river Saun. “This is a crucial bridge that links Sonprayag and Gaurikund — two key spots on way to Kedarnath,” Sharma said.