Prez, PM to visit U’khand in first week of May

Dehradun: The yatra season in Uttarakhand is set to start on a grand note this year with both the president and the prime minister visiting the state in the first week of May to pay obeisance at Badrinath and Kedarnath when they reopen after winter.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to arrive at the Jollygrant airport here on the morning of May 3 on his way to Kedarnath.

President Pranab Mukherjee will arrive here on May 5 for a two-day visit during which he is scheduled to address the convocation of Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy here and visit Badrinath in Chamoli district the next day to offer prayers, an official release here said.

Modi will arrive at the Jollygrant airport at 7.25 am on May 3 and offer prayers at Kedarnath at 8.50 am. He will also pay a visit to Patanjali Yogpeeth in Haridwar at 11.35 am to inaugurate a research centre there before leaving for Delhi the same day, it said.

The sacred portals of Kedarnath will be thrown open to devotees after being closed for winters on May 3, while those of Badrinath will reopen on May 6.

Governor K K Paul held a high-level meeting with officials, including Chief Secretary S Ramaswamy and DGP MA Ganpati, to review administrative preparedness for the upcoming visits of the two dignitaries.

Paul asked the officials to make all security arrangements as per the norms for the president’s visit, right from his arrival at the Jollygrant airport to his departure for Delhi the next day after paying obeisance at the Himalayan shrine.

Mukherjee will arrive at the Jollygrant airport on May 5 and head straight to the IGNFA to address its convocation. He will then go to the Raj Bhawan where he will stay at night.

The president will leave for Badrinath the following morning where he will offer prayers before returning to New Delhi the same day.

The chief secretary also held a meeting to review the preparations and asked officials to ensure that all security arrangements are put in place in view of the two visits.