Landslide on Rishikesh-Badrinath NH, 1000-1500 feared stranded

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Over 10,000 pilgrims and tourists are feared stranded near Vishnuprayag in Uttarakhand after rain-triggered landslides this afternoon.

District collector Ashish Joshi said that BRO (Border Roads Organisation) personnel are engaged in clearing the roads and it could be opened for the traffic by Saturday afternoon.

A landslide had occurred at the underground Vishnuprayag Hydroelectric Power House in Hathi Parbat before the Badrinath yatra commenced on April 26 but before its debris could be cleared, a fresh landslide had occurred.

A large number of pilgrims throng Uttarakhand in summer for the Chardham Yatra - a holy tour of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamunotri and Gangotri. Madan Kaushik, an Uttarakhand government spokesperson, said 20 metres of road had been damaged.

The pilgrims have been asked to stay at these places till the way is cleared.

Due to the closure, pilgrims on way to Badrinath have temporarily stopped at Joshimath, Pipalkoti and Karnaprayag, and are waiting for the way to get cleared. A BRO official told TOI that least 150 vehicles were stranded on both sides of affected area. Those stranded between Hathi Parvat and Badrinath have been taken to the Govindghat gurdwara.

Massive monsoon floods and landslides in Uttarakhand state killed more than 1,000 people and flattened thousands of buildings in 2013.