2017 Chardham Yatra is turning out to be a record-breaking event. With only 20 days of portal opening, these sacred Hindu shrines have received about 2.21 lakh pilgrims. Badrinath, the doors of which opened on May 6, have already been visited by 1,23,285 pilgrims, whereas, Kedarnath, another important shrine of the pilgrimage circuit have seen footfall of 97,815 and over 60,000 pilgrims have visited Yamunotri Dham and more than 71,000 have paid visit to Gangotri Dham so far. It is to be noted that this is the first time after the flash floods of 2013, the number of pilgrims went up as high as about 3lac in a fortnight. In the last two days alone, 17,000 devotees paid obeisance in Kedarnath, with 10,000 thronging from Rudraprayag and 7,000 making their way from Gaurikund. As per the reports, a large number of visitors also opted for chopper service.
Along with the record footfall, the government of Uttarakhand has been trying to set new records in development of the Chardham route as well. Thus, in this direction the latest addition will be the digital screens that will be position in selective places on the Chardham route for pilgrims to get hourly weather updates. The decision was made in a meeting of Uttarakhand chief secretary S Ramaswamy and a team of senior India Meteorological Department (IMD) officials. Initially around 10-15 screens will be set up on the routes of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Yamunotri and Gangotri; and later the number might go up. These screens will not only display the weather forecast issued by Dehradun Meteorological Centre but also will alert pilgrims to Chardham about the possibility of any extreme weather change and the precautions to be taken in such a situation. In the meeting, Mussoorie was also finalized as a location to install the weather forecasting system, also known as Doppler radar.
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