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No Kedarnath yatra for 2 years, says Bahuguna

Press Trust Of India  |  New Delhi 

Rescue teams will take another fortnight to evacuate flood victims, as the roads leading to affected areas have been badly damaged, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna has said.

"Those stuck in certain areas in Uttarakhand, there is no threat to their lives. It's very tragic that so many people have died in this calamity. It will take a long time to rebuild Uttarakhand," he said, adding the holy town of Kedarnath suffered the worst.

There will be no Kedarnath Yatra for at least the next two years, he told Karan Thapar on CNN-IBN's Devil's Advocate programme.

On the death toll, the chief minister said: "There are reports that more could be buried under the debris."

On his government receiving a warning in advance from the weather office, he said, "We were not warned about any cloudburst."

Over 10,000 stranded in various upper reaches of Uttarakhand were today rescued while 22,000 still remain to be pulled out.

"At least 5,000 people must have been killed in the deluge that inflicted heavy damage on vast tracts of land especially in Kedarnath valley," Disaster Management Minister Yashpal Arya told reporters after an aerial survey of affected areas.

About the lack of preparedness of the state in dealing with such tragedies, he said that the state was "very close to putting up a Doppler radar but there were certain concerns by various ministries."

The chief minister denied any delay on the part of the state in sending rescue teams.

"The magnitude of the calamity is so huge that not even the Government of India has a force which can handle such a situation."

First Published: Mon, June 24 2013. 00:32 IST