Rain has wreaked havoc in Uttarakhand, where 16 people have died so far, while the entire area of Talla in Ramgarh has been submerged in rain water. People have reached their terrace and are pleading for help. Some reports said that the Badrinath highway in Chamoli district was blocked on Monday due to falling debris following heavy rains. Officials advised Chardham pilgrims not to visit Himalayan temples till the weather improves.
District Magistrate Vijay Kumar Jogdande said that the laborers were staying in a tent in Samakhal of Pauri district in Lansdowne, when debris fell from a field above due to rain, due to which they were buried alive.
These people were engaged in the construction of a hotel in this area. The injured have been admitted to Kotdwar Base Hospital, he said. Meanwhile, Chardham pilgrims who reached Haridwar and Rishikesh by Sunday have been asked not to proceed till the weather improves, while vehicular movement to the Himalayan temples has been temporarily suspended.
In Rishikesh, passenger vehicles are not being allowed to cross Chandrabhaga bridge, Tapovan, Laxman Jhula and Muni-ki-Reti Bhadrakali barrier. Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami visited the State Disaster Control Room at the Secretariat here and inquired about the weather and took stock of the condition of roads and highways.
He appealed to the pilgrims to postpone their journey for two days till the weather returns to normal. They should stay at safe places in Haridwar, Rishikesh, Srinagar, Tehri, Uttarkashi, Rudraprayag, Guptkashi, Ukhimath, Karnprayag, Joshimath and Pandukeshwar.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Dhami over phone to inquire about the precautionary measures being taken by the state government in view of the heavy rain warning and assured him of all possible help.
Uttarakhand Rain Updates:
It has been raining in Kedarnath since Sunday night, but the Mandakini river is flowing at its normal level. An official of the Devasthanam Board said regular prayers were going on at the four Himalayan temples and the pilgrims living there were safe.
Uttarkashi District Magistrate Mayur Dixit said that pilgrims going to Yamunotri have been asked to stay at Barkot and Jankichatti, while those going to Gangotri have been asked to stay at Harsil, Bhatwari and Maneri.
Pilgrims visiting Kedarnath and Badrinath have also been requested not to proceed on their journey till the weather clears. Chamoli district disaster management officer NK Joshi said that most of the pilgrims going to Badrinath are staying in Joshimath and Chamoli. Out of the total 6,000, around 4,000 pilgrims have returned to Kedarnath on Sunday, while the rest are staying at safer places.
Rudraprayag Disaster Management Officer NS Singh said that many of them have been stopped at Lincholi and Bhimbali as a precaution. The Chardham Devasthanam Board said that in view of the heavy rain warning issued by Uttarakhand Meteorological Department for October 17-19, the Yatra has been temporarily stopped for the safety of the pilgrims.
The peaks beyond Badrinath and Kedarnath received light snowfall, while the low-lying areas of Chamoli district received continuous rain. Rain continued in Uttarkashi and Dehradun also. Gangotri and Yamunotri Dham in Uttarkashi district also received heavy snowfall on Monday.