Snowfall strands Adityanath, Trivendra Singh Rawat in Kedarnath for hours
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Adityanath and his Uttarakhand counterpart Trivendra Singh Rawat were stuck for several hours in Kedarnath on Monday because of foul weather following snowfall.
They managed to reach Gauchar, in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, in the evening.
“Uttarakhand CM Rawat and UP CM Adityanath were stuck in Kedarnath due to bad weather following snowfall,” Ashok Kumar, director general (law and order), Uttarakhand, said.
Both the chief ministers arrived at the Kedarnath temple on Monday morning to offer prayers at the closing ceremony of the shrine for the winter.
The portals of Gangotri temple in Uttarkashi were closed for winter on Sunday and that of Kedarnath, and Yamunotri were closed on Monday. The last of the Char Dham (four Himalayan pilgrimage sites), Badrinath, will follow the ritual on November 19.
Adityanath and Rawat witnessed the closure of Kedarnath shrine’s portals amid all rituals and special prayers as snowfall continued. The portals for Kedarnath closed at 8:30 am and, thereafter, the two CMs got stuck there following heavy snowfall. Both were scheduled to leave for Badrinath at 8.40 am by a helicopter. But due to the snowfall, the chopper could not take off.
The two chief ministers then waited in the government guest house near Kedarnath from where they could finally fly at around 4.45 pm for Gauchar town in Chamoli district, 130 km away from Badrinath.
They will spend the night at Gauchar and visit Badrinath on Tuesday.
“I was supposed to inaugurate a tourist guest house of the UP government near Badrinath shrine. We were stuck due to snowfall,” Adityanath said.
On the sidelines of the event, Adityanath told reporters that all problems related to distribution of assets between UP and Uttarakhand have been sorted out and a few that may be remaining will also be resolved amicably soon.
Citing an example, he said the two state governments had long been fighting a legal battle in the Supreme Court over the ownership of Alaknanda guest house in Haridwar but now UP has agreed to give its ownership to Uttarakhand.
“All issues between UP and Uttarakhand have been resolved and in future also we will continue to work together. There was a case regarding the Alaknanda guest house. That has also been resolved and it was decided that the guest house will be given to Uttarakhand government,” Adityanath said.
Later in the day, his office, in a statement, said that he along with Rawat he inspected the renovation/development works being carried out in Kedarnath Dham by the Uttarakhand government.
According to a UP government statement, Adityanath said the state government is making another guest house near Haridwar, which will help pilgrims. The guest house will be ready before next year’s Kumbh.
“The UP government is making a tourist lodging place and I have already spoken to the Uttarakhand government about it. Soon, the foundation will be laid for it,” Adityanath said.
(With input from agencies)