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Uttarakhand: Extricating and cremation of bodies remains major challenge

Dehradun, PTI | Updated : 03 July 2013, 10:21 AM

Seventeen days after the devastating floods in Uttarakhand, the task of extricating bodies from the debris and their disposal in Kedarnath remained a major challenge for the administration with no cremation having taken place there over the past two days.

According to government figures, only 36 bodies have been cremated so far.

The massive 15-day rescue operations by the security forces to evacuate stranded people came to an end on Tuesday with the last pilgrim rescued from Badrinath.

"All the pilgrims stranded in Badrinath dham have been evacuated. Now some locals and Nepali labourers remain there who will be evacuated by this evening if the weather permits," said Chamoli District Magistrate SA Murugesan.

The state administration is struggling with the task of supplying relief to remote parts of the flood-ravaged state as a vast network of roads and bridges are still damaged in the area. Food grain shortage has been reported in as many as 170 villages.

With Gaurikund-Kedar Highway still closed, there is foodgrain shortage in at least 170 villages in Kedarghati area in Rudraprayag district, said officials associated with the relief and rescue works.  

Choppers are being used for the purpose the exercise is confined to just a few areas, they said.  

Gangotri Highway in Uttarkashi district is blocked at eight points while Yamunotri Highway is closed from Hanumanchatti to Yamunotri making it difficult to take relief material to affected villages.  

The bridge over Alaknanda at Lambagar is badly damaged which will take at least 2 to 3 months to be repaired, he said, adding that the BRO is working on it.

Met forecasts heavy rainfall in flood-hit Uttarakhand for the next three days.

The state metrological department has predicted heavy rainfall in several districts of the state from Wednesday. The rain will continue for the next 48 to 72 hours. Heavy rainfall is predicted in Kumaon region, and districts such as Pithoragarh, Nainital, Champawat will be affected, the Met said in its forecast.

First Published: Wednesday, July 03, 2013 10:19 AM
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