The Rishikesh-Badrinath National Highway that was closed due to a landslide near Vishnuprayag in Chamoli district, was thrown open for traffic today after 24 hours. District Magistrate Ashish Joshi told PTI today that Border Roads Organisation (BRO) personnel worked overnight on a war footing to clear the debris after huge rocks rolled down the Hathi Pahar mountain yesterday and blocked a section of the highway between Joshimath and Badrinath.
Yesterday around 3 PM, huge boulders rolled down the mountain and triggered a landslide which covered 75 metres area of the road with debris.
Around 1500-2000 pilgrims, stranded on both sides, were asked by the district administration to stop at convenient places in Badrinath, Vishnuprayag and Govindghat.
As per today’s reports, out of around 2,000 stranded, 800 had resumed their onward journey.
Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has directed the Secretary of Disaster Management Department, Amit Negi, to constantly monitor the situation.
Earlier, cabinet minister and state government spokesperson Madan Kaushik assured that all pilgrims are safe. In a press briefing here, he said those affected by the landslide were being taken care of by the administration.
The local administration and some welfare organisations including Badrinath-Kedarnath temple committee and Govindghat-based Gurdwara Management Committee have made efforts to provide food and shelter to the stranded pilgrims, he said.
Besides, the BRO has pressed into service three pokland machines, an earthmover and an air compressor to clear the debris. To keep the work going on through the night, inflatable air towers are also being used, Kaushik informed.