Dehradun: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday reviewed the ongoing work on one of his favourite projects – the reconstruction of the Kedarpuri town which encompasses the holy Kedarnath shrine. Here, the construction of a meditation cave for pilgrims is underway, even as a laser show on Lord Shiva awaits the pilgrims.
It is for the second time in a couple of months that Modi monitored the progress of the reconstruction projects via video-conferencing and drone cameras at the township around the centuries-old Himalayan shrine.
On Wednesday, as drone cameras flew over the Kedarnath Valley, State chief secretary showed PM Modi the ongoing reconstruction works at Kedarnath. The prime minister had laid the foundation stone during his visit to the shrine in October last year. The ongoing project now includes the work on a cave being prepared for meditation.
When Modi came to lay the foundation stones of the projects at Kedarpuri last year, he had accused the then Congress government in the state of stopping him from carrying out rehabilitation work in the wake of the 2013 disaster which had caused massive damage in the area.
The progress made so far includes widening of the platform next to the temple from 1,500 square metres to 4,125 square metres, and removal of 12 feet-high rubble heap from the 270-metre pathway to the shrine which can help devotees get an unobstructed view of the temple from the confluence of the Mandakini and Saraswati rivers. The pathway has also been made 50 feet wide.
The flood safety walls on the Saraswati and Mandakini rivers and 13 residential houses of teerth purohits out of a total of 73 are also being constructed, the chief secretary said.
Seventy percent work on the widening of the pedestrian route from Gaurikund via Linchauli to Kedarnath has also been completed.
In the eastern part of the temple, drainage work as a safeguard against landslides and earthquakes have also been completed, an official release quoting the chief secretary said.
A week-long laser show on Lord Shiva that is being organised at the Kedarnath shrine from 28 April onwards has drawn flak from the Congress in Uttarakhand. Senior Congress leader and former chief minister Harish Rawat slammed PM Modi for giving “an artificial experience of Lord Shiva to the pilgrims who visit Kedarnath for a natural experience of Shiva through the shrine”.
However, Singh on Wednesday said that the laser show was a “pilot project to give a new experience to the pilgrims” and that there was “nothing controversial in it”.