Published on : Tuesday, August 19, 2014
According to Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Harish Rawat his focus on conducting the yearly trip to the high-altitude pilgrimage site located in the state was meant to restore tourism which received a retard after last year’s calamity.
Rawat said at a press conference shortly after the formal start of the Nandadevi Raj Jat yatra from Nauti village in the hill district of Chamoli, “As last year’s calamity dealt a severe blow to the confidence of people wanting to visit its famous temples, I made it my priority to restore their confidence about their safety and focused on the safe conduct of the Char Dham and Nandadevi Raj Jat yatras”.
The Chief Minister said he wanted to give the idea to the outside world that Uttarakhand is as normal and safe a hill state as any other in the country and they had nothing to fear.
Regions close to the Himalayan shrines especially Kedarnath bore the impact of last year’s disastrous flood, striking hard the tourism sector which is the mainstay of the state’s economy.
The minister said all care has been taken for the safety, sanitation and health of
pilgrims participating in the Raj Jat yatra.
Communication facilities have been built along the way and special arrangements have been made for pilgrims for their safe passage through muddy and greasy paths.
Though small interruptions can’t be prevented he said adequate arrangements have been made to prevent postponement of the Nandadevi
Raj Jat yatra.
Asked about what came to light at his meeting with the Union Home Minister yesterday, Rawat said Rajnath Singh wanted to know if an alternative route to the char dhams can be built and the yatra made hassle-free through tunneling.
Rawat said, “I told the Home Minister that tunneling is difficult in the hills of Uttarakhand which are younger than those of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.
It is doubtful whether our hills can bear the pressure of tunnels being constructed through them but we are exploring alternative routes to our famous shrines”.