NEW DELHI (TIP): Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi completed his trek up to the Kedarnath shrine on April 23 and said that he did so to pay his respects to the victims of the massive 2013 floods in the region.
“I trekked in a bid to pay homage to those pilgrims who had trekked all the way to the shrine and were killed in 2013 disasters,” Rahul said after completing his 20km trek to the shrine.
The Congress leader attempted to buttress the Uttarakhand government’s attempt to promote the Char Dhams –Badrinath, Kedarnath, Yamnotri and Gangotri – as a safe destination for tourists post 2013 deluge.
“Pilgrims had a fear factor about safety at Kedarnath. My trek is an attempt to restore faith of pilgrims and locals,” Rahul said. Devastating flash floods in the state in 2013 killed nearly 5,000 pilgrims and dealt a blow to the tourism industry. Official figures suggest that the impact of the disaster continues to loom large over pilgrims visiting the Char Dhams – Badrinath, Kedarnath, Yamnotri and Gangotri – in Uttarakhand.