A day after tragedy, tourists advised not to visit Manikaran

  • Dipender Manta, Hindustan Times, Kullu
  • Updated: Aug 19, 2015 21:46 IST

Sensing danger in the area near the Manikaran gurdwara and its surroundings, the Kullu district administration has advised tourists and pilgrims not to visit the shrine for the next few days. The gurdwara management has also been asked to vacate the building immediately.

Seven pilgrims from Punjab were killed and 11 others injured when a big boulder came crashing down from hillside damaging the multi-storeyed building housing a "serai" adjoining the Manikaran gurdwara, 45 km from Kullu, on Tuesday.

Kullu sub-divisional magistrate Rohit Rathore said: "There is a loose stratum in the upper hillside and a few boulders may roll down and create havoc in the area anytime. A team of experts was sent to the area today to review the situation and issue safety guidelines to the people of the area."

"The gurdwara authorities have been asked to vacate the building immediately as danger still persists in the area. We have also urged the tourists to refrain from visiting the gurdwara as the building in unsafe," he added.

Rathore said the chances of more casualty seem bleak as the documents provided by the gurdwara committee cleared that there were 18 people staying in the damaged part of the building. He said seven bodies were retrieved soon after the incident and 11 injured were shifted to a hospital on Tuesday evening.

The bodies have been sent to their village in Punjab's Sangrur and the district administration has given `25,000 each to the family of deceased as an immediate relief. The remaining `3.75 lakh relief money would be given through deputy commissioners of the state concerned, he added.

The family members of the deceased and a few officials of the Punjab government reached the district on Wednesday morning.

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