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Incessant rains impede relief operations in Uttarakhand

Dehradun: Bad weather today stalled debris clearance operations by a 61-member team at Kedarnath and construction of a pedestrian route from Rambada to the Himalayan shrine even as attempts were on to transport relief to calamity-hit areas in Rudraprayag, Chamoli and Uttarkashi. However, the team despatched to Kedarnath has been able to build a temporary bridge over a canal between the helipad and the shrine.

"Debris removal at Kedarnath is stalled due to bad weather.Work on construction of a pedestrian route from Rambada to Kedarnath has also been stopped," Rudraprayag Superintendent of police V J Singh said. "Whenever the weather clears up amid intermittent rains in Kedar valley, relief material is despatched to the affected villages," he said.

An official statement here said 983 quintals of foodgrains besides 288 LPG cylinders have been made available to affected people in the villages of Rudraprayag district. However, the damaged network of roads which continue to be blocked by debris brought over by rains is hampering relief operations.

Rescue operations in Uttarakhand. AFP.

Rescue operations in Uttarakhand. AFP.

Low visibility conditions are affecting air relief operations whereas damaged roads are making transportation of relief to affected villages by road, officials here said. The Goepshwar-Chopta road in Rudraparayg is blocked at several places while Rishikesh-Kedarnath NH is open only till Agastyamuni. Rishikesh Badrinath NH in Chamoli district is blocked by debris near Kameda, Patalganga and Pagalnala.

But despite the vagaries of nature, 35 quintals of food grains and 230 litres of kerosene and diesel have been sent to the flood hit villagers in the district, they said. 6120 quintals of foodgranisn have also been despatched to 146 villages of Uttarkashi district. Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna said opinion of experts will be taken to address the issues of rehabilitation and reconstruction of affected areas.

A meeting of geologists and environmentalists has been convened in this regard on July 21 in Dehradun where a road-map for redevelopment of rain ravaged areas will be drawn using environment-friendly methods, he told reporters yesterday.

PTI

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