The highway was opened up only after 1pm, according to the district emergency operation centre.
“The landslide occurred in Govindghat police station area in the early morning hours. As a result, long queues of vehicles were formed on the highway as large boulders blocked the road,” said Nand Kishore Joshi, district disaster management officer of Chamoli.
Many of the pilgrims were left without food and water as they waited for the highway to reopen. District police had to distribute food packets and water bottles to those stranded.
Chardham Yatra 2023: New cracks seen on highway to Badrinath
Notably, the point where Sunday’s landslide occurred is just 20-25 km away from subsidence-hit Joshimath town.
Officials meanwhile said that in view of the weather alert till May 3, pilgrims who do not have confirmed hotel or guest house bookings at Kedarnath are being stopped at Srinagar in Pauri Garhwal in order to prevent chaos at the temple town.
DGP Uttarakhand, Ashok Kumar, told TOI: “Considering the rain and snow alert issued by the Met department, we are ensuring that the pilgrims numbers at Kedarnath are regulated and do not go beyond a limit where it is not possible for us to accommodate them in case of bad weather.”
Light snowfall continued to lash Kedarnath during the day due to which chopper operations to the shrine town were impacted. The Met centre has issued an alert of “thunder cloud development along with light rain and snow in Kedarnath for the next three days”.
As reported by TOI, the government has issued an alert to all pilgrims planning their trip to Kedarnath, advising them to postpone their travel till May 4 in view of forecast of inclement weather.