Dehradun, May 20: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Saturday said that only 1,800 tourists, against 15,000 reported, have been affected due to the landslide which occurred on Friday in Vishnuprayag region of the state. Vishnuprayag lies on the Badrinath route and the landslide on the Rishikesh-Badrinath highway was a result of the incessant rainfall in the Chamoli district over the past few days. Reports suggest that the landslide occurred at Hathi Pahar, near Vishnuprayag.
While speaking to ANI, he also informed, that no person is stranded due to the landslide and no unfortunate incidents have been reported due to the calamity. “No one was stranded, there were no unfortunate incidents,” Rawat was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, efforts are on to open the blocked Rishikesh-Badrinath highway. Assuring that the route will be functional again from today, Rawat informed that the teams of Border Roads Organisation (BRO) and other authorities are working on clearing the debris. He also said that suitable arrangements are in place for the tourists who have been affected due to the landslide.
The landslide from Hathi Pahar reportedly began in the afternoon around 3:30 PM. Due to the fall of boulders, a portion of highway was reportedly damaged that forced the authorities to temporarily close down the Rishikesh-Badrinath route.
According to reports, nearly 500 vehicles are stranded on either side of the Badrinath route. Some pilgrims have been provided shelter at the adjoining Joshimath, Chamoli and Pipalkoti.
Speaking to ANI, District Collector Ashish Joshi said the Badrinath highway could be turned operational only by Saturday afternoon. “The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) personnel are actively engaged in the repair work,” he said. The Collector, on Friday, also informed that stranded women and children would be taken to Govindghat gurudwara in Chamoli to rest till the highway is opened for traffic.
Watch the video of the calamity here:
Hathi Pahar witnesses landslides triggered by rains almost every year. As per the latest report, pilgrims who reached the Badrinath shrine on Friday have been asked not to make the return journey in the next 24 hours.