Uttarakhand landslide: Death toll rises, over dozen Char Dham pilgrims killed

Dehradun: The death toll of ‘Char Dham’ pilgrims killed in the massive landslide in Uttarakhand has increased to 13.

The Border Road Organisation (BRO) cleared the debris by Saturday, said the number has reached to 13. So far, the figure has crossed a dozen of people in the journey beginning since April 28.

Most of the pilgrims died in Yamunotri yatra, whereas two in Badrinath and Kedarnath.

Officials said, the pilgrimage has been temporarily stopped and the people – including women and children have been asked to take shelter at the major halts on the route.

Piyoosh Rautela, executive director of the Uttarakhand Disaster Mitigation and Management Centre said the Border Road Organisation (BRO) is expected to clear the debris by Saturday. The yatra started earlier this month and will run till end-June.

Officials said an estimated 15,000 people are stranded on both sides of the landslide spot.

Earlier on Friday, the Rishikesh-Badrinath National Highway was shut near Vishnuprayag in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district due to a massive landslide was re-opened for traffic on Sunday.

SP Chamoli Tripti Bhatt told ANI, ”Badrinath Highway near Hathi parbat which was shut due to landslide is now open.”

Earlier this week, Maharashtra’s Minister of Relief and Rehabilitation, Chandrakant Patil informed that hundreds of Char Dham pilgrims stranded in Uttarakhand have been rescued.

He told ANI, “The government has taken all necessary precautions. The state’s department of disaster management immediately came into action. We contacted the tour operators and figured out that 102 pilgrims from Maharashtra were stranded who have been rescued now and have been accommodated in different hotels.”

“By noon all roads will be cleared, and by evening, all pilgrims will be made to board trains to their respective home stations. We have reached out to the railway authorities for the same so that none miss out their trains,” Patil added.

A landslide blocked part of the road leading up from Joshimath to Badrinath in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand on Friday.

Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has instructed Secretary Amit Negi to constantly monitor the situation. (ANI)