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2nd landslide on Yamunotri highway in a week, 10k hit

Uttarkashi: Over 10,000 pilgrims going to or returning from the Yamunotri shrine were affected as a massive landslide, the second in a week, washed away a stretch of the road with a safety wall on Yamunotri national highway near Ranachatti on Friday evening.
Traffic was impacted for several hours on Friday and most of Saturday with buses going to and returning from Yamunotri being stopped at Janki Chatti and Barkot respectively and pilgrims being put up at homestays along the highway. The roads were finally cleared by Saturday evening and buses and small vehicles were allowed to move, Incidentally, the fresh landslide happened at the same spot as the earlier one.
The first landslide had occurred on May 18 (Wednesday) following heavy rains and it had washed away a 12-meter-long patch of the Yamunotri highway.
It had taken the administration over 24 hours after the first landslide to restore the traffic by cutting the rocky hillside and carving out space from the mountainous patch but a day later, on Friday evening, things went back to square one when the fresh landslide hit the same place. While small vehicles were allowed to pass through the narrow space available, heavy vehicle movement was stopped. Teams of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) started repair work once again, while the administration distributed food packets to stranded pilgrims and arranged for some of them to go ahead using alternate vehicles. Shalini Negi, SDM, Barkot, told late on Saturday that "although the highway has been restored, we are on alert keeping the weather conditions in mind." Dinesh Rawat, an activist based in Barkot, said that "it was a matter of grave concern that a new landslide zone had developed on the Yamunotri highway." "Once the monsoons come, this stretch would become a dangerous one. Steps need to be taken immediately to address it."
Meanwhile, the power supply at popular tourist spots like Gangotri, Harsil, and Janki Chatti was disrupted for hours due to a thunderstorm on Friday evening, leaving tourists and local residents in a lurch. The supply was restored on Saturday afternoon.

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