Landslides, triggered by incessant overnight rains, have blocked a national highway (NH) leading to Badrinath, a Char Dham shrine, since Thursday morning.
The Uttarakhand government announced on Thursday morning that the Rishikesh-Gangotri NH was blocked for traffic, as debris had fallen from mountains near Bhatwadi in Uttarkashi district.
The Rishikesh-Yamunotri NH was blocked for traffic near Dabur Kot.
However, both the Yamunotri and Gangotri highways were opened by Thursday afternoon.
The 108 emergency service officials from Uttarkashi district said a portion of a house got damaged due to heavy rain near Brahmakhal area, leading to the fall of debris on a car that also got damaged.
Locals alleged that houses in the area are prone to collapse due to faulty construction work carried out on the all-weather road.
Suraj Bhandari, a resident of Brahmakhal Bazaar, alleged many houses developed cracks during the rainy season because of faulty construction work on the all-weather road.
Laxman Bhandari, a former district panchayat member, said that if the construction work was done in compliance with norms, then such unnecessary losses could have been avoided.
Akash Joshi, sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) of Dunda, under which Brahmakhal Bazar falls, said: “According to the report of the revenue sub-inspector, the portion of the house got damaged due to incessant overnight rain and not because of faulty construction work on the all-weather road. The damaged vehicle will be covered under insurance.”
The NH leading to Badrinath was blocked near Lambagad, which is a landslide-prone area and faces frequent traffic disruptions during monsoon every year.
In Tehri Garhwal district, the road from Muni ki Reti Tapovan toward Devaprayag was blocked near Timalu amid falling boulders from mountains.
In the remote Pithoragarh district, the Tawaghat road was blocked near Lakhanpur. The road leading to Ghatiyabagad and Sobla from Tawaghat was also closed for vehicular traffic.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Thursday at 1 pm predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall would occur at isolated places in Dehradun and Tehri Garhwal districts.
The IMD forecast, which is valid for the next 24 hours, has predicted that heavy rainfall is likely to occur at isolated places in Pauri Garhwal, Nainital, Bageshwar, Chamoli and Rudraprayag districts of the Himalayan state.
The weather bureau has predicted heavy rainfall over the next two days in all the districts of the Kumaon region.
The IMD has issued a yellow alert, which implies to be on guard, and predicted that heavy rainfall is likely to occur at isolated places in Pithoragarh, Bageshwar, and Nainital districts on Friday.
Light to moderate rain or thundershowers are likely to occur at most places in Champawat, Udham Singh Nagar, Dehradun, Pauri, Tehri, Almora, Rudraprayag, Chamoli, Uttarkashi, and Haridwar districts on Friday.
(with inputs from Vipin Negi in Uttarkashi)