Barely hours prior to the start of Chardham yatra season with the opening of the Badrinath shrine for pilgrims, the BJP has accused the Uttaranchal government of sloppy preparedness. Blaming the ND Tiwari-led Congress government of failing to improve facilities along the yatra route, the BJP held it responsible for the hardships faced by the lakhs of pilgrims visiting the four sacred shrines every year. ?Despite claims of improvement in the condition of roads, last year hundreds of pilgrims lost their lives and many others were injured in accidents during the yatra season. The government has not learnt any lesson from the past and appears to be waiting for other disasters,? said BJP state general secretary Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal ?Nishank?. The doors of Chardhams?Gangotri, Yamunotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath?were opened for pilgrims amid chanting of vedic hymns and ritual worships recently. Thousand of pilgrims reached the shrines when the doors of Gangotri and Yamnotri temples were also opened.
?Apart from attracting lakhs of pilgrims from across the country and abroad, the Chardham yatra also acts as a unifying force. If facilities along the route aren'timproved, it brings a bad name to the state,? said Dr Nishank while talking to Organiser in Dehradun. Charging the government with making hollow promises each year, he urged the government to learn from past mistakes and put serious thought into how things can be improved during this season and in future also.
He pointed out that during the last season, there was paucity of essentials like kerosene and food items at Kedarnath and unavailability of adequate lodging arrangements forced many pilgrims to spend nights on roadsides. Dr Nishank added that healthcare facilities along the route are still insufficient, the disaster management machinery is in shambles and no measures have yet been taken to carry out efficient rescue and relief work in case of accidents.
?The government should have built a fully-equipped hospital in Srinagar to cater to accident victims. This would have enabled the administration to provide timely medical aid and bring down the number of deaths,? he said.