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PM Modi to visit Kedarnath on Diwali to review progress of reconstruction project

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone of Kedarnath reconstruction project in October 2017, four years after the temple town in Uttarakhand was ravaged by flash floods.

dehradun Updated: Nov 05, 2018 12:29 IST
Deep Joshi
Deep Joshi
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
Modi's kedarnath visit,kedarpuri reconstruction project,modi in kedarnath
Kedarnath shrine in Uttarakhand. PM Modi will visit the shrine town on Diwali, November 7, to review the progress of the Kedarpuri reconstruction project. (HT File )

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Kedarnath on Diwali (November 7) to review the progress of the Kedarpuri reconstruction project, the foundation stone of which he laid last October, four years after the fabled shrine town in Uttarakhand was struck by calamitous floods.

“The Prime Minister is slated to visit Kedarnath on November 7. He (Modi) is likely to stay on the temple premises for two hours during which he will review the Kedarnath reconstruction project,” Rudraprayag district magistrate Mangesh Ghildiyal said.

Clarifying that he was yet to receive details of the PM’s proposed visit, the official said he (Modi) would also watch an exhibition and a documentary which will highlight the progress of the reconstruction project.

Ghildiyal denied reports that Modi might inaugurate few of the five projects pertaining to Kedarpuri reconstruction. The official cited the Election Commission of India’s Model Code of Conduct being in force in view of the November 18 civic body polls, as the reason. He said that the prime minister might also address a public meeting during his visit.

“He (Modi) may address a public meeting at Kedarnath as the shrine town doesn’t fall in an urban local body area,” Ghildiyal said. There were reports that the Trivendra Singh Rawat-led BJP government had sought the poll panel’s permission to let the Prime Minister inaugurate some of the projects during his visit to Kedarnath.

“No such request was made at my level,” he said, adding that the state government might have done that.

During his Kedarnath visit last year, PM Modi laid the foundation stones of five projects---the shrine area and the approach road, a protection wall and a bathing ghaat along the rivers Saraswati and Mandakini, the residential area of Teerth Purohits (priests) and the mausoleum of Adi Shankaracharya (that was washed away by flash floods).

“Out of these (five) projects, two have been completed”, Ghildiyal said referring to the shrine area and the approach road and the protection wall along the Mandakini.

“The rest three projects, including, the mausoleum of Adi Shankaracharya will be completed before the next Chardham yatra,” he said. The official was referring to the six-month long annual pilgrimage to the four fabled shrines of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamnotri in Uttarakhand, which starts from April.

He further said that the exhibition on the Kedarpuri reconstruction project would comprise photographs of the related works being carried out on the temple premises and the area around it. “These photographs will be of the time before the reconstruction work began and after it progressed to this stage so that the Prime Minister could assess the difference,” he said.

The documentary that would be shown to him (Modi) would serve the same purpose. “The display will also give the Prime Minister an idea of the tough conditions in which labourers have been working to implement the project,” he said referring to the frequently occurring snowfall in the shrine area located on a tough terrain.

He (Modi) will also be taken to the project areas if he wished to have an idea of the works being undertaken on the spot, Ghildiyal said. Officials said three all-terrain vehicles had been kept in reserve, which could be used to show the Prime Minister around the sprawling project area. There are reports that Modi might launch the ruling BJP’s campaign for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from Kedharnath.

First Published: Nov 05, 2018 12:29 IST