Garhwal: Heavy rains in the Himalayan range are giving tough time to the pilgrims on a voyage to the religious significant ‘Chardham Yatra’. The debris of a landslide blocked the flow of traffic on Khula Gangotri National Highway for entire Thursday, leaving thousands of pilgrims fighting the bad weather.

Owing to the landslide and bad weather, the smooth flow of pilgrims has transformed into a herculean task. The Kedarnath bound traffic has been diverted to Uttarkashi- Labgaon route. With not many options left, the pilgrims have headed towards the remaining three ‘Dhams’ Yamunotri, Gangotri and Badrinath.

Gangotri Highway which opened for the tourist flow on Wednesday after a 42 hour traffic holdover had to be closed again on Thursday due to landslide.

Several pilgrims on way to Gangotri via Rishikesh and Yamunotri have been forced to halt at Badethi, Chinyalisaud and Dharasu. The road in Therang and Songaad was blocked in between Gangotri and Bhatwari for nine hours.
This left around two thousand pilgrims trapped in Dunda, Devidhar, Matli and Uttarkashi. Also, severely slippery roads near Nalupadi slowed down the traffic to a great extent.

The sliding zone on the Badrinath National Highway is again playing a spoilsport. Repeated landslides at Sirabgarh blocked the way for seven hours which could be cleared only till noon after great efforts by the Borders Roads Organization. This kept thousands of Chardham pilgrims stuck amidst long traffic jams on both sides of the rubble.

On the other side, Kunchenjunga glacier breakage led to huge deposition of debris on the way which could be cleared only till Wednesday late night.

P.K.Azad, senior official, BRO said, “Sufficient arrangements have been made to remove the rubble at Sirabgarh to prevent traffic blockage.”

(JPN/Bureau)