DEHRADUN, INDIA, May 31, 2014 (The Hindu): Chief Minister Harish Rawat, on Saturday, said that the first and second phases of reconstruction work shall begin in the Kedarnath Valley in the coming week. Suggesting that the State government would want to make the Char Dham yatra a year-long yatra, Mr. Rawat said that the priest community of the four shrines of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri shall be consulted to change the yatra from six months to the one that continues throughout the year.
Mr. Rawat visited Kedarnath on Friday. On Saturday he addressed the media to present the reconstruction measures that would be taken in Kedarnath Valley. "The Mandakini and the Saraswati rivers that have changed course after the June 2013 deluge, shall be channelized to their original course," he said adding that the Nehru Institute Of Mountaineering (NIM) and the State Irrigation Department would be the agencies responsible for the channelization of the rivers.
Channelization and flood protection works shall be done in the first phase of reconstruction. The Public Works Department and the Irrigation Department shall be the agencies responsible for the flood protection works, he said. Mr. Rawat said, "Two protection walls - an outer wall and an inner wall - shall be built near the Kedarnath shrine. While the outer wall will protect the temple from any floods from the side of the Chorabari glacier, the inner wall will be constructed near the Divya Shila (divine rock), which is a large boulder placed a few metres from the shrine." He suggested that projects like ropeway, electric cars, alternative routes, and betterment of 24 kilometer bridle path to Kedarnath, were being worked on.