Claiming that all reconstruction work in Kedar Valley has been done by the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM), BJP MP and former Uttarakhand chief minister Bhagat Singh Koshiyari has asked the state government to accept its ‘failure’ in rebuilding efforts and approach the Centre to take over the entire exercise.
“All the reconstruction work visible in areas close to Kedarnath has been done by NIM and not by the state government, which is trying to grab credit for everything,” Koshiyari told after his visit recently to the Himalayan shrine to take stock of the ground realities there following the devastating flash flood last year in the hill state.
“Chief Minister Harish Rawat should admit that he has failed in his rehabilitation and reconstruction endeavours and hand over the responsibility to the Centre,” the Nainital MP said, adding that the BJP-led Union government was capable of restoring every bit of the glory of Kedarnath.
He said the NIM has built a high quality 8-km-long road from Rambada to Kedarnath despite the vagaries of the weather, which is commendable.
“Good work is being done in the area under the leadership of Col Ajay Kothiyal of NIM, who deserves to be congratulated for it,” he added.
Accusing the state government of having done precious little in terms of reconstruction in the area, Koshiyari said that despite over a year having passed since the tragedy, flood control measures are yet to be taken, including construction of dams and checkdams on the rivers.
He added that priests and teerthpurohits in the area, who have been demanding that safe houses close to the temple should not be razed, allege that the state government continues to drag its feet over the issue, Koshiyari said.
Alleging non-rehabilitation of the affected people, Koshiyari said there is a paucity of land in the hills, so the state government must begin work on identifying land banks in the plains without much delay as it is a time-taking process.