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Heavy rains lash Uttarakhand; Shah speaks to Dhami, assures help

Over 4,000 pilgrims who were headed for Kedarnath, were asked to stay at safe places and district administrations were instructed to provide assistance to the pilgrims.

SNS | New Delhi |

With continuous heavy rains lashing Uttrakhand, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday spoke to Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and assured him of all possible help while he also took stock of the prevailing situation.

The Union home minister’s move comes in the wake of Uttarakhand witnessing inclement weather that has often led to floods in this mountainous terrain. Heavy rainfall for hours has already paved the way for waterlogging. Shah intimated himself with updates relating to steps taken by the state government to handle the situation.

According to the state government officials, chief minister Dhami has directed all district magistrates to update him on the situation on an hourly basis. The  Chardham Devasthanam Board was asked to temporarily suspend the ‘Char Dham Yatra’ due to the torrential downpour since Sunday. Pilgrims have been warned against proceeding any further till the weather improves.

Over 4,000 pilgrims who were headed for Kedarnath, were asked to stay at safe places and district administrations were instructed to provide assistance to the pilgrims.

The CM, as of now, has reportedly taken updates of the state’s highways and roads while National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed 10 teams in seven affected districts of the state.

According to the NDRF, one team each has been deployed in Dehradun, Almora, Pithoragarh, Haridwar while two teams each have been deployed in Chamoli, Uttarkashi and Gadapur.

The meteorological department has predicted heavy rains in the state between October 17 and 19 while the areas surrounding Badrinath and Kedarnath have received light snowfall. Heavy to very heavy rains, lightning, hail storms and high speed winds up to 60-70 kmph have been predicted by the Met department for all 13 districts of Uttarakhand.

In February this year too, the Chamoli district had faced a flood-like situation in the wake of a glacier breaking off and causing destruction to many bridges and dams.

(With IANS inputs)