Havoc in the hills: Hours after Uttarakhand announces Char Dham Yatra, cracks appear on Badrinath highway
The Yatra, scheduled to begin on April 22 after the six-month winter break, was announced by the Pushkar Singh Dhami government on Saturday
Hours after the Uttarakhand government announced the Char Dham Yatra, fresh cracks were spotted on the Badrinath Highway near Joshimath, reported the Times of India.
Around ten more sizable cracks were said to have appeared on the Badrinath highway, which is known as the 'gateway to Joshimath' and is one of the most-visited pilgrimage spots in the Garhwal Himalayas.
Citing locals, the Times of India report said that the cracks appeared within the 10-km stretch between Joshimath and Mawari, significant on the stretch near the State Bank of India branch, near Mawari bridge, ahead of Jaypee colony.
"A team is examining the cracks and it is not a cause of concern," Chamoli district magistrate told the media.
The Joshimath Bachao Sangharsh Samiti (JBSS) convenor Atul Sati, said fresh cracks ahead of yatra are of major concern.
"The Badrinath highway is already facing subsidence in the lean season. We don’t know what will happen when thousands of vehicles ply on the road during the peak time of the Char Dham Yatra," Sati was quoted by ToI.
The Yatra, scheduled to begin on April 22 after the six-month winter break, was announced by the Pushkar Singh Dhami government on Saturday.
The annual pilgrimage will start on the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya on April 22 with the opening of Gangotri and Yamunotri Dham gates. The doors of Kedarnath Dham will open at 6:20 AM on April 25 and the portals of Badrinath will open on April 27.
As questions arose on the feasibility of the Yatra amid the horrors of land subsidence plaguing Joshimath for months, CM Dhami reassured that most people in Joshimath are "leading a normal life" and the Yatra will commence in four months.
The Char Dham Yatra expects heavy traffic and thousands of pilgrims walking on land that is already sinking beneath the feet of the shrines.