Rudraprayag: Rudraprayag District Magistrate Mangesh Ghildiyal on Monday performed a 'different' role as he roamed around Uttarakhand's Kedarnath highway incognito to inspect the Kedarnath Yatra arrangements.
Wearing a cowboy hat and holding a bag in a typical tourist style, Ghildiyal went around Sonprayag, Guarikund and other areas to see whether the arrangements made for the Kedarnath Yatra were functioning well. Ghildiyal's donned his new role as tens of thousands of people continued to flock to the Uttarakhand hills to escape from the rising temperatures in the plains. Most of the facilities have been crippled in view of the heavy rush of tourists in the state.
Wearing a blue kurta and a white pyjama and holding a bag, Ghildiyal also recommended the suspension of two engineers of the Uttarakhand Jal Sansthan after finding drinking water tanks empty. Photos carried by the local media showed Ghildiyal who has defended his inspection saying it was the need of the hour. He said most of the arrangements were in place at most places.
Ghildiyal's incognito role came as media reports highlighted the plight of the pilgrims as most of them are caught in hours-long traffic snarls and are not finding accommodation in the Chardham and other tourist areas such as Nainital and Mussoorie.
Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police Kewal Khurana inspected the traffic arrangements at Rajpur-Mussoorie highway on Monday and found that most of the police officials were absent from duty.
Khurana immediately pulled up the Superintendent of Police (Traffic) Dehradun Prakash Arya and asked him to take action against all police officials who were not on duty.
However, Chamoli Superintendent of Police Manjunath T C said all the police arrangements on the Badrinath-Chamoli highway were well in place. "In our district there is no such problem," he said.
State Congress Vice President Suryakant Dhasmana has strongly criticised the state government for not doing enough to tackle the heavy rush of pilgrims at Chardham. "The government is sleeping in AC rooms," said Dhasmana. --IANS