Dehradun, Jan 18 (Agencies): The Uttarakhand government plans to launch a drive to remove encroachments from near the world famous shrine of Badrinath after consulting with local people.

Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank on Tuesday said the government has set up a committee under the chairmanship of state Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Manoharkant Dhyani to evolve a consensus on the issue.

Nishank said the unauthorised structures around the Badrinath temple, nestled in Garhwal Himalayas, have "defaced" the beauty of the shrine and it was government's priority to remove these encroachments, according to an official release.

The Chief Minister was speaking after laying foundation stone for a guest house of Badrinath-Kedarnath temple committee at Kargi here.