However, low visibility conditions induced by overcast skies at places posed a hurdle in flight of choppers forcing Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna to cancel his visit to Deval, Tharali and Narayanbagad areas of the flood-hit Chamoli district. (Agencies)
Lack of connectivity remains the main issue in Chamoli district with major roads still blocked and restoration work often hampered by bad weather, Additional District Magistrate Sanjay Kumar said.
However, with clear weather on Tuesday, air relief operations as well as restoration of damaged roads has been resumed, he said. Adequate relief has been supplied to 84 villages by choppers and efforts are on to cover about 50 more disconnected villages by transporting foodstuff to them on mules and horses, he said.
However, sporadic rains at some places continued to bring debris onto the roads with Purnagiri road in Chamapvat district still blocked by mud and slush falling over now and then from nearby hills. The road became blocked three weeks ago.
Repair of damaged bridges also continued with the Gangori bridge in Uttarkashi district reopened after several weeks, giving the locals a sigh of relief. Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna who had to cancel his visit to the flood affected areas of Chamoli district said the state government's priority as of now is to transport heavy stone cutting equipment to Kedarnath shrine at the earliest to kickstart the debris removal exercise there.
Tonnes of debris with a strong possibility of decomposing bodies trapped under them have been lying at the shrine and adjoining areas ever since the calamity occurred in Uttarakhand over a month ago.
However, the Chief Minister said debris clearing at the Himalayan shrine and commencement of regular prayers, are separate issues which should not be clubbed together.
"Prayers would start there as soon as the shrine interiors are cleaned up. However, debris removal operations and rehabilitation of the temple which are a separate issue may take some time as over 40 damaged structures have to be demolished in the first phase with the help of heavy stone cutting equipment which are yet to reach the temple," he told reporters in Dehradun.
He also said that the exercise has to be carried out scientifically as per the advice of the GSI and ASI.
However, low visibility conditions induced by overcast skies at places posed a hurdle in flight of choppers forcing Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna to cancel his visit to Deval, Tharali and Narayanbagad areas of the flood-hit Chamoli district.