Kedarnath shrine safe, to remain closed for a year

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DHAMNew Delhi, June 19;The famous Kedarnath shrine located in the Himalayan ranges in rain-ravaged Uttarakhand is safe but will remain out of bounds for at least a year, Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna said on Wednesday.

“Kedarnath shrine is safe but it is under a lot of slush,” he told PTI in New Delhi after a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who announced Rs. 1,000 crore aid to the State to handle relief and rescue operations.

Mr. Bahuguna said there was lot of debris around the shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva and it would require at least one year to clear it.

“Kedarnath shrine will remain out of bounds for pilgrims for one year,” the Chief Minister said.

Parts of Uttarakhand experienced flash floods triggered by incessant rains over the past three days which has left at least 150 people dead and thousands others, most of them tourists and pilgrims, stranded.

The Prime Minister and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi undertook an aerial survey of the rain-affected regions.

Located in the Himalayas at a height of 3,584 meter near the Chorabari glacier, the Kedarnath shrine is a popular pilgrimage site for Hindu pilgrims.

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