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Heavy snowfall halts pilgrimage to Kedarnath

According to the Rudraprayag district disaster control room, a total of 4,272 pilgrims were kept in safer locations, on the trek route to Kedarnath.

Statesman News Service | Dehradun |

Continuous snowfall since early morning created a challenging situation for the pilgrims in Kedarnath and Badrinath on Tuesday. One woman devotee from Delhi lost her life after suffering a heart attack in Kedarnath, which witnessed sharp decline in temperature after heavy snowfall.

Owing to bad weather, the Rudraprayag district administration stopped the pilgrimage to Kedarnath for a day. Snowfall put a complete brake on the chopper service to Kedarnath and the stranded pilgrims had no option but to attempt the 16 km trek.

According to the Rudraprayag district disaster control room, a total of 4,272 pilgrims were kept in safer locations, on the trek route to Kedarnath. Most of the pilgrims were undertaking the foot-march to Gaurikund. About 450-500 pilgrims remained stuck in Kedarnath.

Former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat and his supporters too were among those stuck in Kedarnath. Appreciating the alertness of the administration, Harish Rawat asked the state government to provide a blanket and raincoat to each stranded pilgrim.

Sixty-one-year-old Janki Devi from New Delhi lost her life after suffering a heart attack in Kedarnath on Tuesday. The Rudraprayag district administration halted pilgrimage to Kedarnath for-a-day and no visitors were allowed to proceed beyond Gaurikund.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Rawat is monitoring the situation. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Trivendra Rawat over phone on Tuesday. He was briefed on rainfall and the hailstorm in the state.

The Home Minister assured the Chief Minister that the Union government will provide all sorts of assistance in case of any emergency situation. The Central government has asked the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) teams to stay alert to deal with any kind of emergency.

The Department of Disaster Management and all the District Magistrates are reviewing preventive measures in Uttarakhand. All the NDRF teams in the state are on high alert.