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article imageRebuilding of Kedarnath shrine in Himalayas to begin soon

By Sravanth Verma     Jun 5, 2014 in World
The Kedarnath temple and nearby areas in the Indian Himalayas, which suffered extensive flood damage last year, will be undergoing reconstruction soon.
Harish Rawat, Chief Minister of the state of Uttarakhand where the shrine is located visited the temple on May 31. On his return, he announced, “In the next four-five days, our reconstruction and rehabilitation plan for Kedarnath will begin for which we have finalized a roadmap." The reconstruction is planned in two phases. The first phase will include construction of protection walls behind the temple, while the rivers in the area will be re-channelized and flood control measures for the area will be put in place. Restoration at the shrine will be undertaken by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
The second phase involves the development of a new township, named Lyncholi, to augment the old settlement of Kedarpuri which existed around the temple. Buildings in Kedarpuri which are deemed unsafe will be pulled down and work on stabilizing the mountain slopes will also begin.
"Once the extent of damages caused to temple and its nearby areas is assessed, these scientists and experts will be able to prepare a plan for rebuilding it," Rawat said. The central government in New Delhi has already approved an 8000-crore rupee ($1.3 billion) plan over three years to reconstruct the temple. However Rawat clarified that a fresh estimate had proposed that this figure be raised. “Around Rs. 4,000 crore [$650 million] would be required to complete the rehabilitation and reconstruction work in the disaster-affected areas,” he said, adding that the proposal would be taken up with the central government.
The Kedarnath temple reopened on May 4, about a year after massive floods in the Indian state of Uttarakhand nearly buried it. As per official records, the floods in June 2013 claimed 6,054 lives.
The Kedarnath temple is one of the most significant shrines for Hindus. Located at a height of about 11,700 feet, the shrine to Lord Shiva was visited by 575,000 pilgrims in 2012. Numbers have reduced this year however, because of the fear of natural disasters.
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