DAINIK NATION BUREAU
Since opening of Kedarnath shrine more than 4.4 lakh tourists have visited here so far. The number of pilgrims visiting the shrine has reached an all time high. State BJP President Ajay Bhatt says footfall increases because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi visit here. He had personally visited here twice and with this he has sent message across the globe that the area, which had witnessed deluge and thousands of people died during disaster 2013, is safe now.
Last year mere 4.71 lakh pilgrims had visited the shrine but this year more than 4.4 lakh pilgrims have visited here in between opening April 29-May 29. BKTC is expecting more pilgrims to come in June too.
Badrinath Kedarnath Temple Committee Chief Executive Officer ((CEO) BD Singh, said the numbers were expected to swell in June. This year the yatra has received a good response and we are expecting more pilgrims in the coming month. Except for snow in the first week of May, the weather has been more or less conducive.
In 2012, around 5.53 lakh pilgrims had visited the shrine. However, along with increase in footfall, the number of death due to heart attack too has increased. Around 33 pilgrims have lost their lives mostly due to heart attack during the yatra. Till now the highest number of death have been reported from Kedarnath (18), followed by Badrinath (9) and Yamunotri (6).
Although elaborate medical arrangements have been made on the Char Dham route, pilgrims usually in their 60s do encounter medical emergencies which often lead to death.