Chardham yatra: U’khand gears up to deal with heavy rush of pilgrims | dehradun | Hindustan Times
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Chardham yatra: U’khand gears up to deal with heavy rush of pilgrims

With Badrinath and Kedarnath, two of Uttarakhand’s four fabled shrines likely to witness a heavy influx of pilgrims during the upcoming Chardham yatra, government agencies have started making arrangements to ensure that visitors have enough ration and accommodation facilities available

dehradun Updated: Apr 15, 2018 20:43 IST
Deep Joshi
This year, Chardham yatra starts from April 18.
This year, Chardham yatra starts from April 18.(HT File)

With Badrinath and Kedarnath, two of Uttarakhand’s four fabled shrines likely to witness a heavy influx of pilgrims during the upcoming Chardham yatra, government agencies have started making arrangements to ensure that visitors have enough ration and accommodation facilities available.

“The Chardham yatra that starts from April 18 this time will coincide with ‘purshottam mas’, an auspicious occasion which comes after every three years,” said VD Singh, officer on special duty (OSD) of Shri Badrinath-Shri Kedarnath Temple Committee.

“So, a heavy influx of pilgrims is expected and accordingly we are making board and food arrangements for them, so they are not inconvenienced in any manner,” he said.

Singh said precaution “is being taken” in case hotels and restaurants would not be stocked up with enough food for a large number of pilgrims and would not have enough rooms to accommodate them.

“So, all state run guest houses have been asked to keep rooms in spare for pilgrims. Besides, arrangements like tin sheds and tent accommodations are also being made for them,” he said.

“Similarly, we have also stocked up enough food so that pilgrims face no crisis in case hotels and restaurants would run short of their stocks.”

Rudraprayag district magistrate Mangesh Ghildiyal admitted that there was a possibility of Kedarnath witnessing a heavy rush of pilgrims after the ceremonial reopening of the shrine on April 29.

“There is a possibility of the number of pilgrims going up this time as their number has been constantly increasing since Kedarnath was struck by the cataclysmic floods in 2013,” he said.

“We have, therefore, made enough boarding arrangements so that, in case of a heavy influx of pilgrims, the shrine town could accommodate 7000 more visitors per night.”

Ghildiyal said apart from state-run guesthouses, pilgrims would be accommodated in houses owned by Teerth purohits (priests).

“Of the total such houses that had been washed away by flash floods (in 2013), some 38 (houses) have been reconstructed and handed over to priests,” he said.

The administration had also permitted private parties to provide tent accommodations to yatris.

“Besides, in nearby Linchauli as many as 100 tents have been set up, in which, per night, 1,000 pilgrims can stay,” Ghildiyal said.

About other facilities, he said widening of a 16-km-long approach road from Rambara to Kedarnath had been carried out.

“Besides, railings have been put up along that (approach) road so that pilgrims ferried to the shrine town by mules do not fall off into the gorge,” Ghildiyal said.

“Several such incidents had been reported in the past,” he added.