320 Odias trapped in Badrinath landslide

Bhubaneswar: As many as 320 Odias are trapped in the landslide due to heavy rains on Rishikesh-Badrinath National Highway at Chamoli district of Uttrakhand. The stranded persons were on a pilgrimage to Badrinath, one of the four shrines of the annual Char Dham Yatra that began on April 26.

The stranded people are reported to be from Bhadrak, Bolangir Mayurbhanj and Bargarh districts of Odisha.

The State government has taken measures to rescue them.

“We have taken steps to rescue the people stranded in Uttarakhand. Odisha government’s Resident Commissioner posted at New Delhi has been making arrangements to ensure safe return of the people,” said special relief commissioner (SRC) G V V Sharma.

L N Mishra, Collector of Bhadrak in Odisha said at least 54 people from his district were trapped due to the landslide.

“I have spoken to the people standard there. All of them are safe,” Mishra said.

Communication between Joshimath and Govindghat was completely disrupted after the landslide at Vishnuprayag at about 11 AM on Tuesday last.

The road between Joshimath and Govindghat was blocked by big boulders, due to landslides caused by rains yesterday, Chamoli’s Disaster Management official Nand Kishore Joshi said.

Following the incident, almost 3,000 pilgrims have been stranded at Joshimath and Govindghat, he said.

Efforts are on to remove the boulders, Joshi said and hoped that the highway would reopen soon even though continuous falling of rocks is hampering the efforts.