Millennium Post

Army out, Bahuguna govt’s ineptness in

With the Army and Air Force pulling out from the state after successfully completing the mission of evacuating stranded pilgrims, the ineptness of the Vijay Bahuguna government is once again back in focus. The government has been unable to initiate the process of starting the daily chores and rituals at the devastated Kedarnath shrine amidst mounting criticisms and controversies.

Though the chief minister did create a photo opportunity meeting the Rawal (head priest) of the temple Bhima Shankar here on Saturday, the two failed to give a definite date for the revival of ritual and religious ceremonies at the temple. Till the time of going to press, the government had failed to announce the road map for revival.

Bahuguna’s loud-mouthed attempt at announcing the ‘scientific rebuilding’ of the temple through the Archaeological Survey of India has also invited criticism from various quarters. ‘The shrine is part of local culture and milieu. Whether you build it scientifically or non-scientifically is not important. What is important is that the local sentiments should be taken into account and local people be involved,’ former chief minister Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri told Millennium Post.

Khanduri, a retired army general, has been extensively touring the disaster-hit area. He said the focus of relief and rescue should now be local people. ‘Kedarnath lives with local people. He comes down from his shrine to the village of Ukimath near Guptkashi for six months in winters. His palanquin is carried by villagers of the valley. How can you keep them away from the rebuilding process. But we first need to rescue these villagers,’ added Khanduri.

On his party colleague Narendra Modi’s offer to rebuild temple, Khanduri said, ‘It’s important that the local people are drafted for not only rebuilding the structure but also resurrecting traditions. If Modi is lending a helping hand, what’s the problem in accepting his or anybody else’s help.’
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