The Char Dham pilgrims have ignored the appeal of Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and are continuing their journey, with around 12,000 devotees reaching Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri till Monday afternoon amid intermittent snowfall and rain, government sources said.
Dhami had in the morning said the pilgrims should suspend their journey till the weather became favourable and wait wherever they were.
“The hills of the state are witnessing heavy rainfall and snowfall. The meteorological department had said it could worsen in the next couple of days. The situation is difficult there. I appeal to all the devotees not to continue their yatra. They should wait for better weather,” Dhami had said.
Ajendra Ajay, president of Badrinath-Kedarnath Mandir Samiti, said: “The situation is adverse for the devotees.However, we are taking every step for their pleasant journey. We request them to be very careful during their pilgrimage.”
Meteorological department director Vikram Singh said: “There is a possibility that the weather will start improving after May 4. The present situation may worsenand create problems for the devotees. I advise people to avoid the journey at the moment.”
Sudarshan Khatri, regional manager of Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam, said they had put up canopies at several places on the yatra route for the devotees to take rest but the weather had disrupted their plans.
“The canopies were damaged in the snowfall. There is also mud on the yatra route. People must take extra care while travelling on the yatra road,” Khatri said.
Saroj Singh, a devotee on her way to Kedarnath,said: “We were stopped atSonprayag on Mondaymorning and informed that we have to wait there tillthe weather improved. The government was making tall claims about the arrangements before but is nowclaiming that it had issued advisories in advance. Today also, we came to know from some journalists that Dhami has asked us to discontinue our yatra.”
She added: “The government is blaming the weather for the problems but we know that it is because of its failure that we are suffering.”