Temple roads cleared after flash floods
Pathways to shrines in Gangotri and Yamunotri have been cleared. They were blocked after a landslide last month. Now, the number of pilgrims has gone up to around 4,000 per day. Connecting pathways were blocked after flash floods and landslides killed 18 people. Pramod Nautiyal, a member of the temple committee, said, “The numbers have come to normal. We hope that no other calamity plagues pilgrims.” The state government along with state disaster response force and other bodies worked to clear the highways.
Major quake may shake state
After two small scale seismic activities were reported from Pithoragarh and Uttarakashi districts earlier this week, experts have suggested that a big earthquake might be in waiting. The location of the seismic activity — 4.3 on the Richter scale — was India-Nepal border in Pithoragarh. The second was in Uttarkashi district (3.4 on the Richter scale). Since 2015, 77 earthquakes have been recorded in Uttarakhand, out if which 95% were in Pithoragarh, Chamoli, Uttarkashi and Rudraprayag. Sushil Kumar, a senior scientist at the Wadiya Institute of Himalayan Geology, said, “Geological factors are behind these seismic activities. Predicting a quake is impossible but a long seismic gap indicates earthquakes of bigger intensity.”
Mobile van for giving pollution clearance
Taking note of long queues for verification and applications of pollution clearance documents for vehicles, the state transport department has launched as mobile van for issuing pollution clearance documents in Dehradun. The mobile van will be available on call at 7017370227 and will charge `200. The van can check over 150 vehicles in a day. Since the newly amended Motors Vehicle Act 2019 came into force on September 1 with hefty penalties, people are queuing up to get their licences, pollution records and insurances papers updated. Regional transport office has opened six counters for processing licences.
Now, fly from Dehradun to Varanasi
Air India will be starting direct flights from Dehradun to Varanasi from September 28. The flights are aimed at providing direct connectivity to pilgrims visiting the holy city of Varanasi from the state capital as well as other parts of the hill state. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, said, “I am thankful to Air India for the initiative. Now, pilgrims after visiting Haridwar and Rishikesh will be able to visit Varanasi too in no time in comparison to earlier times.” The flight will be available two days a week — Wednesday and Saturday.
Our correspondent in Dehradun