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Rawat holds Cabinet meeting at Kedarnath, approves road map

The Uttarakhand cabinet held its first meeting at the battered Kedarnath on Monday, and approved the road map for a massive reconstruction and rehabilitation work, with Chief Minister Harish Rawat setting a two-year target for its completion. The road map has been prepared by the state’s disaster management department.

“I have set a two-year target for the completion of all work related to Kedarnath,” said the chief minister. It was an open Cabinet meeting where the chief minister had invited the opposition leaders, too. However, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) boycotted it, claiming, “it was a show to waste money.”

The reconstruction plan will be executed in six phases. The work around Kedarnath temple will be undertaken by the Badrinath-Kedarnath Temple Committee. “The government will lend all support to the temple committee for the work which will be done in close consultation with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI),” said Rawat.

The Cabinet also approved the winter Chardham Yatra that would give a boost to tourism, which has taken a beating in the wake of the last year’s flood in the state. Under the plan the government will promote winter yatra to all those places where idols of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri temples are kept during winter. Linking of pilgrimage to Madmaheshwar and Jageshwar temples with Chardham Yatra has also been approved.

In a separate decision, the Cabinet also put its seal of approval on the Rs 10,000 crore Clean Ganga Action Plan. The plan will be sent to the centre for its final approval. Rawat said he would hold such Cabinet meetings in other parts of Garhwal region.

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