The Rishikesh-Badrinath National Highway near Vishnuprayag in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district was closed on Friday due to a landslide.Some hundreds of pilgrims were feared to be stranded at different places in Gopeshwar.
The landslide occurred in the afternoon when huge rocks started rolling down from Hathi Pahar Mountains filling the routes with debris. Following this, the highway has been closed near Vishnuprayag, one of the five confluences of Alaknanda river that is situated between Joshimath and Badrinath which is the famous pilgrim spot.
District Magistrate Ashish Joshi said that Border Roads Organisation personnel are engaged in clearing the roads. According to him, the roads are expected to be opened for the traffic by Saturday afternoon. He also said that all efforts are being taken to provide facilities to around 1500 pilgrims who are at Joshimath, Karnaprayag, Pipalkoti, Govindghat and Badrinath.
The pilgrims have been asked to stay at these places till the way is cleared for their own safety and those who are undertaking fresh journey has been arranged for safety at convenient places in advance. The viewers who witnessed the landslide mentioned that the clearing would take more than the expected time which would prove to be a dampener for the pilgrims.