Dehradun: A horrific devastation in Uttarakhand and the havoc in the holy town of Kedarnath will hit the tourism sector hard. Uttarakhand government sources say that it may take two to three years to start the Kedarnath tour again.
While speaking to the IBN7, government officers said that the famous Kedarnath shrine has suffered severe damages as it was almost completely submerged by floods and mudslides. Many shops, houses and hotels around the shrine have been razed to the ground due to flash floods. Even the roads have been washed away.
According to the sources several villages are cut off from rest of the country and badly affected. The rescue teams may take more than two weeks to even reach such villages. Many villages have been washed away and the only indications that they ever existed are the rubble left in the area.
Officials are not ready to make an estimate of the people killed as the rescue teams are yet to reach some of the worst affected areas.
Indian Air Force teams carrying out rescue operations and evacuations in Uttarakhand say the process is a tedious one and will be long before it's over.
At the moment, people are being evacuated from Kedarnath and being brought to a place where there is an Army camp or some scope of medicine and food.
Almost 5,000 guides and their animals that take pilgrims from Gaurikund to Kedarnath are missing. Authorities say rescue operations in the temple town will be over by Wednesday evening.
The government has expressed concerns over people stranded in different parts of Uttarakhand. The Union Cabinet Secretary said 5,000 people were stranded in Badrinath and 3,000 in Dangi. He said medical aid is being provided and the NDRF and Army teams are helping in a big way in rescuing people. He also said more than 120 sorties are on the rescue mission.
Helpline numbers: Uttarkashi: 01374-226126, 226161
The ITBP has also established helpline and control room for information on Uttrakhand: 011-24362892 and 9968383478.