700 pilgrims stranded on Uttarakhand highway after landslide

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Dehradun : A massive landslide on the Gangotri highway in Uttarakhand has left 700 pilgrims stranded, an official said on Friday.

The landslide took place 55-km away from Uttarkashi near Dabrani.

District Magistrate of Uttarkashi, Ashish Chauhan was also held on the route and the rest 700 'kanwar's' were being taken from an alternate route, the official told IANS.

Chauhan and other officials have gone to Surakki village, some 15-km from the landslide zone.

Some pilgrims have returned to Sukki while others are waiting in their vehicles on the highway itself.

Border Road Organisation personnel have been deployed to clear the rubble on the route, the official added.

A team of officials led by Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Devendra Singh Negi have been asked to camp at Dharali to ensure smooth transfer of the stranded pilgrims trapped.

Only 48-hours back a massive landslide created havoc at Dharali, some 80-km from Uttarkashi.

District Disaster Management Officer Devendra Patwal informed that debris were continuously flowing from the hills, making it difficult for the highway to be clear.

The Regional Met Office has meanwhile predicted another bout of heavy rains in the hill state from Saturday.

According to the weatherman, Champawat, Udhamsingh Nagar, Nainital, Tehri and the state capital Dehradun will witness very heavy rainfall in the next 24-hours.