Prayers to resume at Kedarnath shrine from Sept 11: Bahuguna

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Kedarnath to resume prayers
Dehradun, Sept 1:  Prayers at the Kedarnath shrine, suspended since the mid-June calamity in Uttarakhand, will resume on September 11, Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna today said. Prayers will take place between 7 and 11 am and will continue till the portals of the temple close on Diwali, he said.

Although prayers are beginning, a decision on resuming pilgrimage to the Himalayan shrine will be taken only after a review meeting on September 30, Bahuguna told reporters at the Secretariat here after presiding over a meeting to review preparations for the worship.

Advanced arrangements to be made for bad weather conditions

It was decided that the Temple Committee would provide a list of 24 people who would oversee the worship, comprising office-bearers and nominated priests. Every ten days, new people will be assigned the duty in rotation, he said adding that the temple would be opened to public once necessary infrastructure is restored and weather becomes favourable.

Prayers were suspended at the shrine after the June 16-17 deluge, which caused large-scale damage to Kedarnath valley. Although the shrine itself remained unharmed in the calamity, adjoining area and structures bore the brunt of it.

Giving orders to make all necessary preparations, Bahuguna asked the administration to make advanced arrangements to deal with any bad weather conditions. Water and electricity facilities have been restored and a bridge to Kedarnath has also been built, he said and added that arrangements for food and boarding are also being made. BSNL network connectivity will resume soon, though provision of satellite phones is available for now, he said.

Teams of police, NDRF and administration are already present in Kedarnath valley along with a medical team and the temple premises and surrounding areas have been cleaned up, the Chief Minister said.

PTI

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