Dehradun: The first bus after the 2013 Kedarnath disaster reached Gaurikund near Kedarnath amid rousing welcome by residents on Saturday.
The havoc created by the disaster had washed away the road to Gaurikund — situated at an altitude of 18,200 feet above the sea level in Garhwal and is regarded as a the base camp for the 16-km trek to Kedarnath temple — as a result of which the direct bus service between Haridwar and Gaurikund had been discontinued.
Nagendra Rawat, a local, said, “Resumption of bus services is big news to Gaurikund residents, who have been boarding buses to different places from Sonprayag after the disaster.”
Almost four years after the disaster, the service has now been resumed. Besides Haridwar and Gaurikand, the Rudraprayag-Gaurikund bus service has also been resumed.
As a bus of the Garhwal Motors Owners Union (GMOU), transporting mainly posts, reached Gaurikund at around 12 noon, people led by the village head felicitated the bus driver and conductor with bouquets and garlands.At 4pm, another bus running by Himgiri operators reached Gaurikund.
Although a new road was laid down after the main Rudraprayag-Gaurikund highway was washed away by the flash floods, the movement of heavy vehicles had not been started.
GMOU tourist officer Anil Bargali said he had surveyed Gaurikund, along with other officials, in March and decided to resume bus services from April 1.
“Now, there will be daily bus service between Haridwar and Gaurikund from Sunday. The first bus will leave Haridwar for Gaurikund at 5:15 am, while the second bus will leave at 7:10 am. The bus service on the Rudraprayag-Gaurikund route will start from 8:30am onwards,” said Bargali.