On the anniversary of Kedarnath floods that killed thousands of pilgrims in sudden flash floods, Union Minister for Water Resources, Uma Bharti has announced several measures to avoid a repeat of such incidents. In memory of the lost lives, there will be a massive tree plantation drive today. All the medicinal plants lost in the floods will be replanted as well. The plantation will occur on the route of Gangotri, Haridwar, Kanpur, Allahabad, Varanasi, Patna, Farakka, Nawadweep and Ganga Sagar.
An improved flood warning system will be applied to all lakes in higher planes, spread in areas over 50 hectares. River embankments will be repaired. The Ganga cleaning program announced by the government is also being planned aggressively. Report on the plan with the cooperation of private agencies, environmentalists, saints, persons dependent on the river and government secretaries is expected soon, revealed the minister at a press conference today. “I will stay on the banks of Yamuna here to pay my homage to those who died,” said Bharti.
On the eve of the anniversary of the floods, several skeletal remains of the missing victims were found yesterday near the Kedarnath shrine, bringing back bad memories of the mishap.