Kedarnath: What Narendra Modi had actually proposed in 2013 for shrine reconstruction

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In a fresh attack on Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday accused the opposition of impeding him from doing any developmental work in the flood-struck Kedarnath in 2013. Modi says that he had a meeting with the then Uttarakhand CM Vijay Bahuguna with his proposals.

He also did the "Rudrabhisekh" ritual before addressing a gathering where he thanked people for electing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the assembly polls held earlier this year. They (UPA government) viewed the development with a kind of alarm as they thought the Gujarat chief minister will now reach Kedarnath and mounted pressure on the then state government not to agree to my request. Kedarpuri town, which encompasses the Kedarnath shrine, had undergone devastation in June 2013 after a glacier lake breached due to heavy rainfall and caused flash floods in the river Mandakini, which passes through the Kedar valley.

The Congress accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of "disrespecting" traditions during his Kedarnath visit and "misleading" the people on redevelopment work of the shrine after the 2013 deluge. "It is true, Modi ji came to Dehradun, at my residence, gave cheque of Rs 5 Crore for relief on behalf of Gujarat Govt", he said.

PM Modi is also likely to lay the foundation stone of renovation of Adi Guru Shankaracharyas tomb which was devastated in the catastrophic flash floods of 2013. "There is now a BJP government in Uttarakhand", Modi said in his 40-minute speech at Kedarnath, saying money will not be a constraint in redeveloping the site, including widening the pedestrian route to the shrine and developing new ghats. Modi was accompanied by Uttarakhand Chief Minister T.S. Rawat and other state and central government officials.

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Describing these projects as ambitious and expensive, PM Modi asserted that said there would be no dearth of funds to ensure that they are completed in a time-bound manner.

"Pilgrim numbers had decreased after the 2013 tragedy as people were sceptical if proper infrastructure existed here", Modi said.

The Prime Minister called on the workers to take Gujarat on the new height of development at the global level and with more pace.

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