Confusion prevails over cremation in Kedarnath | india | Hindustan Times
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Confusion prevails over cremation in Kedarnath

It seems that Uttarakhand government machinery has learnt no lessons from the past; days after the flash flood affected large part of the Garhwal hills and killed hundreds of pilgrims. Lack of coordination in the relief works has drawn criticism from many quarters and now once again ‘communication gap’ is clearly visible. Anupam Trivedi reports.

india Updated: Jun 27, 2013 20:17 IST
Anupam Trivedi

It seems that Uttarakhand government machinery has learnt no lessons from the past; days after the flash flood affected large part of the Garhwal hills and killed hundreds of pilgrims. Lack of coordination in the relief works has drawn criticism from many quarters and now once again ‘communication gap’ is clearly visible.

Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde had also wrapped Uttarakhand officials for ‘lack of coordination’ in the relief works.

The police started mass cremation of the dead pilgrims at Kedarnath from Wednesday amid lot of confusion.

The indifferent attitude of the administration continued on Thursday after officials contradicted whether any cremations have taken place in Kedarnath. The Rudraprayag district administration confirmed later in the noon that 15 dead bodies were cremated.

Although earlier in the day, Chief Secretary Subhash Kumar in his routine briefing told reporters that 40-45 dead pilgrims were cremated at Kedarnath. Interestingly Sanjay Gunjiyal, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) who returned from to Dehradun from Kedarnath kept on reiterating that no cremation was conducted.

“No cremation was held today (Thursday) in Kedarnath since adequate arrangements have to be made. A new team has gone today and they will need a day” told Gunjyal to HT.

Even the DIG was firm on his stand, the Rudraprayag district information centre told HT that “15 were cremated around 4 PM”.

On Wednesday police cremated 18 dead pilgrims. The fire wood for the cremation is being transported through IAF choppers to Kedarnath.

It is estimated that more than 200 pilgrims are still under debris. Meanwhile a team of doctors collecting DNA samples of the pilgrims that were killed on 16th – 17th June after massive flash floods that turned Kedarnath shrine into debris and killed many.