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PMO official among 40-member Central team to visit Kedarnath, assess reconstruction work

The team will trek till Kedarnath to ‘independently’ assess the ongoing reconstruction work in the shrine that was devastated by a natural disaster in June 2013

dehradun Updated: Feb 07, 2018 22:20 IST
Anupam Trivedi
Anupam Trivedi
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
40-member Central team,PMO official,Kedarnath
The visit was supposed to begin on Friday, but has been postponed for later this month due to inclement weather warning.(HT File)

The Uttarakhand government is gearing up to host a team of over 40 personalities, including Bhaskar Khulbe, secretary to the Prime Minister and filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar, by this month end.

The team will trek till Kedarnath and “independently” assess the ongoing reconstruction works in the shrine that was devastated by a natural disaster in June 2013. The disaster claimed over 5,000 lives.

According to an official, the idea is to boost the morale of the workers who are engaged in the sub-zero temperature in Kedarnath and also to spread a word about the “good work”.

“The proposal (to host the trek) has been initiated by the Prime Minister’s Office. The state government has partnered for the event,” Pankaj Pandey, secretary (information), told Hindustan Times on Wednesday.

The official said the trek was supposed to begin from Friday but it has been postponed for later this month owing to the warning of the inclement weather.

Pandey said the trekking team consist senior officials Khulbe, Rajendra Singh, director general of the Coast Guard among others. Both officials hail from Uttarakhand.

Besides, women cricketer Ekta Bisht, filmmaker Bhandarkar, a couple of officials from PMO and a media crew will also be part of the team.

Kedarnath is located at a height of 12,500 feet. The trekkers will scale some 20 kilometres between Sonprayag and Kedarnath in 9 hours. Although the shrine is closed for the winter break but the reconstruction works continue over there.

Kedarnath is one of the four shrines (Char Dham) in the Himalayan state.

The Narendra Modi government has promised on improving road infrastructure connecting Char Dham.

The prime minister visited Kedarnath in last year and inaugurated several works and stressed on accelerating the pace of remaining works.

The shrine has remained the focal point of politics between the Congress and the BJP. It was Congress-led Harish Rawat government that claimed “credit” over the works.

“Such hyped treks are nothing but an attempt to snatch the credit from Congress. It was our government that started the reconstruction works and started Char Dham pilgrimage” said the former chief minister.

Meanwhile, Uttarakhand chief secretary Utpal Kumar Singh has been extensively touring the shrine to ensure the pending works are completed by this year. A live feed from Kedarnath is available in his office round the clock to “monitor the works”.

First Published: Feb 07, 2018 22:19 IST