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Yamunotri pilgrimage halted after rain damages NH stretch

Uttarkashi: The Char Dham yatra to the Yamunotri shrine was affected after a 12-meter-long stretch of the road on Yamunotri national highway near Ranachatti got washed away following heavy rainfall on Wednesday evening.
Till the time of filing this report, tourist buses and other heavy vehicles had been stopped from crossing the affected patch while over 2,000 stranded pilgrims, including many from Delhi and neighboring states in Jankichatti and Barkot areas, were being moved to safer locations by the administration. Officials said that the movement of taxis and other light motor vehicles had not been stopped though.
SDM Barkot Shalini Negi said, "We are trying to create a safe passage from the hillside by breaking rocks so that traffic can be restored at the earliest." She added, "We have stopped over 100 tourist buses in Barkot and Jankichatti areas and pilgrims have been sent to hotels. We have also arranged vehicles so that the pilgrims who are returning from the Yamunotri shrine and want to go ahead can be moved safely."
Later, around 7 pm, the Yamunotri highway was restored for vehicular movements. Meanwhile, a total of 2,47,348 pilgrims have visited Gangotri and Yamunotri shrines till May 19. However, people involved in the tourism sector have expressed concern over the bad condition of the Gangotri and Yamunotri highways.
Sunil Rawat, a tour operator, said, "Just a mild rain spell led to roadblocks in Uttarkashi. The situation would turn for worse during peak monsoon season, badly affecting the tourist footfall in the region." He added, "The government should make some serious efforts to tackle the situation."

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