Kedarnath has become a 'ghost town', SC told

New Delhi, July 12 (IANS) As Supreme Court Friday asked the NDMA to file a status report on the rescue and relief operation in flood-devastated Uttarakhand, it was told that pilgrimage centre of Kedarnath has become a "ghost town" with scores of bodies buried under the earth brought by rain and floods.

A bench of Justice A.K.Patnaik and Justice M.Y.Eqbal was told this by the additional advocate general of Uttarakhand, as he informed the court on the steps taken by the state government on pursuance to its rescue and immediate relief operations and restore normalcy.

The Uttarakhand government in its affidavit said that the list of the missing people was being prepared and the chief secretaries of various state have been asked to provide details of the people from their states who were in Uttarakhand before and during the period when floods had hit the hill State.

The affidavit was filed by the Uttarakhand government in pursuance to the court's July 3 order asking it to put on record that rescue operations were over and immediate relief has been provided.

The court was told that except for Kedarnath, the communication lines in the rest of the flood affected areas have been restored. The court was also informed that flood affected families have been assured free ration for three months or until they remain cut-off from rest of the State.

The Uttarakhand government told the court that mule tracks and footpaths were being restored so that supplies to villages is restored. "every effort is being made to restore normalcy", the court was told.

The state government told the court that some people in Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri have refused to leave the place as they have said that they would leave only after the doors of their temples are closed in third week of November. However, the court was told that in case they decide to leave early, special arrangements would be made to evacuate them.

The court has given the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) two weeks time to file its affidavit.

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