DEHRADUN, INDIA, August 2, 2013 (The Hindu): "Prayers in the Kedarnath temple will start from September 11," said Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna here on Friday. Ganesh Godiyal, president of the Badrinath-Kedarnath Temple Committee, said, "A meeting will be held between August 25 and 30 to review the situation of the Kedarnath Valley and a final decision will be taken on whether the prayers in Kedarnath can start from September 11." The decision was taken at a meeting where Mr. Bahuguna, members of the Badrinath-Kedarnath Temple Committee, the Rawal (priest) Bhimashankar Ling and Shankaracharya's representative Subodhanand were present.
The concerned authorities informed the members in the meeting about the present situation of the Kedarnath Valley, especially the Kedarnath temple. At present, the weather in the Kedarnath Valley is bad and the helicopters very rarely are able to fly to the Kedarnath temple. To reach the temple, a makeshift bridge is being used to cross the Saraswati river.
Even as bad weather continues to obstruct relief and reconstruction work in the valley, Bahuguna said, "The decision of starting the prayers was taken because the faith of the people is at stake."
Bahuguna said the temple will be purified for the prayers and the temple premises will be barricaded. However, the construction works and cremations will continue in the Kedarnath Valley.
Bahuguna said two bridges need to be constructed in the Kedarnath Valley. For the prayers, arrangements have to be made for around 100 people to stay in prefabricated houses with arrangements for water, electricity, and rations.