Uttarakhand to set up separate authority to regulate Kedarnath yatra

DEHRADUN: With the June calamity extensively damaging infrastructure in Kedar valley, Uttarakhand government has decided to constitute a Kedarnath Development Authority to regulate the annual pilgrimage to the Himalayan shrine along the lines of the Vaishnodevi yatra. 

Efforts are already under way to give final touches to the authority which will regulate the yatra besides taking on the responsibility of overseeing the reconstruction efforts in Kedar valley, officials said on Wednesday. 

A notification announcing the formation of the authority is likely to be issued any moment, they said. 

In the wake of the calamity in which areas close to the shrine suffered massive damages and thousands of visitors to the famed temple went missing, the state government strongly feels the need of a separate authority to regulate the yatra to Kedarnath, they said. 

The authority will not only oversee rebuilding efforts in the area but also regulate the number of visitors to the temple, their movement and the period of the yatra, they said. 

Besides, it will supervise the reconstruction efforts in the specified areas close to the shrine like Rambada, Gaurikund and Guptkashi. 

It will prepare a masterplan for repairing and constructing the damaged roads, identifying locations for building ropeways and residential arrangements, the officials said. 

Deliberations were held on the constitution of the authority at a Cabinet meeting here yesterday after which there was no media briefing as the monsoon session of the state assembly scheduled to commence later this month is already notified, an official requesting anonymity said. 

District magistrates concerned have been asked to identify areas falling into the jurisdiction of the authority. 

Chief Secretary Subhash Kumar said constitution of the authority will lend pace to reconstruction efforts in Kedar ghati and resumption of the yatrs to the shrine. 

No new legislation is required for the constitution of the authority, official sources said, adding it can be constituted under the Uttarakhand Special Areas (Planned and Regulated Development and Upgradation of Tourism) Act, 2013.

News Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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