1,200 still stranded by Uttarakhand landslides
Of the around 2,000 people stranded after a landslide in Uttarakhand's Chamoli district, 800 have resumed their onward journey and work is on to clear the debris, officials said on Saturday. The Rishikesh-Badrinath National Highway was closed near Vishnuprayag, one of the five confluences of Alaknanda river, between Joshimath (also known as Jyotirmath) and Badrinath, the famous pilgrim spot in the hill state.
Huge boulders had rolled down the Hathi Pahar mountain on Friday afternoon blocking the highway. Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has directed the Secretary of Disaster Management Department, Amit Negi, to monitor the situation.
Chamoli District Magistrate Ashish Joshi said that around 2,000 people were affected due to the landslide and of them 800 have been resumed their onward journey. As of now, 1,200 people are still stranded at different places in Vishnuprayag, Pandukeshwar and Govindghat.
An official said that arrangements for food and lodging have been made for the stranded people. Border Roads Organisation (BRO) personnel have been working on a war footing to clear the debris since Friday afternoon, and according to senior officials the highway will be reopened for traffic soon.
Meanwhile, Joshi said the media reports claiming that around 15,000 people are stranded due to the landslide are "absolutely wrong". "Only 2,000 people have been affected," he asserted.