Heavy rainfall force closure of Badrinath-Rishikesh highway near Sirobagadh; 2 dead

Heavy rainfall force closure of Badrinath-Rishikesh highway near Sirobagadh; 2 dead

Heavy rainfall force closure of Badrinath-Rishikesh highway near Sirobagadh; 2 dead

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Amid heavy rainfall in Uttarakhand, tragedy struck as two individuals lost their lives and six others sustained injuries.

The Badrinath-Rishikesh highway near Sirobagadh was shut down, just a day after the commencement of the revered Char Dham Yatra. 

The closure was prompted by the inclement weather, which not only claimed lives but also injured several individuals, with 17 more sustaining injuries due to building damage.

Passengers en route to Badrinath and Kedarnath were halted at Srikot-Srinagar and Kaliyasod. Uttarakhand police took to X (formerly Twitter) to inform the public about the highway closure, attributing it to the continuous rainfall leading to debris and stones falling from the hills near Sirobgadh, on the border of Rudraprayag and Pauri districts. This resulted in the closure of the alternative route via Chanti Khal as well.

The India Meteorological Department issued forecasts indicating thunderstorms with hail in Rudraprayag until Monday, along with rainfall across various parts of the state. Srinagar Kotwal Hoshiyar Singh Pankholi assured that measures were in place to ensure minimal inconvenience to passengers. However, continuous debris falling in Sirobagadh has impeded efforts to reopen the road.

The Chardham Yatra began auspiciously on May 10, with the temples of Kedarnath, Yamunotri, and Gangotri in the Garhwal Himalayas welcoming devotees in celebration of Akshaya Tritiya. The ceremony witnessed the presence of notable figures such as Assam Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, his wife Geeta, and Riniki Bhuyan Sarma, wife of Himanta Biswa Sarma, at the Kedarnath opening ceremony.