Border Roads Organisation personnel are engaged in clearing the Rishikesh-Badrinath National Highway
Over a thousand people have been stranded after the Rishikesh-Badrinath National Highway was closed on Friday near Vishnuprayag in Uttarakhand's Chamoli district because of a landslide, following which hundreds of pilgrims were feared stranded at Gopeshwar. The highway has remained closed near Vishnuprayag, one of the five confluences of the Alaknanda river, between Joshimath (also known as Jyotirmath) and Badrinath.
The landslide happened in the afternoon after large boulders rolled down the Hathi Pahar mountain. The area between the highway and Alaknanda river was filled with debris. District Magistrate Ashish Joshi told news agency PTI that the officials from the Border Roads Organisation or BRO are engaged in clearing the roads and it could be opened for the traffic by the afternoon today.
He also said that efforts are on to "provide all possible facilities to around 1,000-1,500 pilgrims who are at Joshimath, Karnaprayag, Pipalkoti, Govindghat and Badrinath." The pilgrims have been asked to stay at these places till the highway is cleared.
Though the district administration has arranged for safety of travellers at various places along the way, witnesses said that it is a big landslide and the highway could take a long time to be cleared.
Due to the landslide, pilgrims who were on their way to Badrinath have temporarily stopped at Joshimath, Pipalkoti and Karnaprayag, the district magistrate confirmed.