Cracks appear, make Uttarakhand’s Yamunotri temple a disaster in waiting; govt yet to assess damage. My report


Away from all the attention being focused on the temple towns of Kedarnath and Badrinath, the Yamunotri temple, which alongwith the Gangotri completes the ‘char dham’ pilgrimage is facing a serious risk.

So much so that the committee governing the temple affairs believes the temple is a disaster waiting to take place, one which may threaten the lakhs of devotees who visit this place annually.

We have accessed pictures taken on Tuesday which show the temple complex having suffered damages. These cracks and damage, according to the temple authorities, are worsening by the day. And even as all this takes place, the district administration is yet to take stock

Pawan Unniyal, vice chairman of the temple committee at Yamunotri and practicing priest there, said, “The Kalindiparvat above us, since 2004, has suffered landslides. Invariably, the debris hits our temple ceiling. It has weakened our structure. Now, since Yamunaji has changed course, even the foundation of the temple has been weakened as large portion has been swept away.”

He termed the situation at the temple a serious risk. “In fact, we have pleaded with our government to conduct a survey here and prepare a masterplan to mitigate the present and obvious risks, but there has been no response,” he added.

The temple saw damage from the morning of June 17 when a course alteration took place of the Yamuna river which flows adjacent to the temple. Since then, it has all been down the hill.

“We can’t help but feel that we are not being heard in this regard. We are unsafe from above and now even below,” mentioned Unniyal. According to the information accessed, the temple complex which consists of facilities created in the recent past, have been hit the hardest.

That the administration remains, even after a fortnight, unaware of the situation was evident when the District Magistrate of Uttarkashi, Rajesh Kumar, under whom temple premises fall said, “There has been no damage to the temple. If at all there is then the temple committee will take care of it.”

However, his subordinate, Sub-Divisional Magistrate DV Yadav was more categorical. “Yes, we have heard that the complex of the temple has seen some damage. But frankly owing to the relief work, we have been stretched. Nevertheless, I have asked my department to prepare for me a report on the extent and magnitude of the damage. Based on this report, we will act,” he said.



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