Uttarakhand is safe now. Tourists can visit many places and break the myth of “Unsafe Uttarakhand”. Yes, the disaster has damaged Uttarakhand. Its time to rebuild Uttarakhand. It is true that Uttarakhand lost links like roads and bridges, scarcity of food etc in remote villages, thousands became widows and orphan children, left houses broken and villages washed away. Relief work is going on for that. But in order to make the economy of Uttarakhand stand on its own feet, We feel it is most the need of the hour to invite common people, Pilgrims and Tourists which provides income generation to Hotels, Dharmshalas, Ashrams, Guest Houses, trek guides, porters, small shopkeepers, vendors, taxi owners etc on which lakhs of people depend directly or in directly.
Himalayan Peaks from Gwaldam-Chamoli distrcit Uttarakhand
The serenity of Himalayas in Uttarakhand is still intact. Every peak is green now, the mighty Ganga and its source rivers and tributaries are flowing like they always do during this time of monsoon. Road blocks on main roads are removed and occasional landslides are a common phenomenon in this season and the maintenance department takes care of them immediately. So thats not a problem too.
Country Roads in Uttarakhand
From Rishikesh to Badrinath, road until Govindghat is good and the buses are plying upto Joshimath regularly. One can go to Pandukeshwar, (where Badrinath ji idol is shifted during winter every year). Very few interior roads are still to be built which were broken due to Natural cum Man-made calamity recently. All the five prayags (confluence) namely Devprayag, Rudraprayag, Karnprayag, Nandprayag and Vishnuprayag are in good condition. Road from Rishikesh to Uttarkashi is also fine.
Lansdowne hills from Village Chai
There are many more interesting places in Ganga, Bhagirathi and Alaknanda valleys like Haridwar, Rishikesh, Neelkant, Dehradun, Mussorrie, Almora, Auli, Nainital, Chopta, Karthikswamy, Ukhimath (Kedarnath idol is shifted here now), Tungnath, Gopeshwar, Saptakund, Tapovan, PeepalKoti, Malari, Pokhri, Meyali, Chirbatiya, Dhodital, Dhanolti, Narendranagar, Ranikhet (Almora), Lensdown, Sonprayag, Khirsu, Kanvashram, Guptkashi etc to visit. One can visit and stay nearby. One can also go for trekking. Many tourist organisations and trek guides, porters are waiting for work. They have become unemployed after the the calamity.
Water fall in Kalsi block Jaunsar Dehradun District.
Electronic Media has been presenting grave pictures of the flood-time of building collapses etc. But its not the case any more. Cloudbursts are common in Uttarakhand like in all Himalayan regions and they occur in isolated areas. And “Heavy rains” do happens like in every part of the country. Cloudbursts and Heavy rains are not a ‘Breaking News’.
We appeal to media to stop showing these old footages. Apart from focusing on relief and reconstruction works, showing the present situation would bring back the common people, Pilgrims and tourists and thus the economy is rebuilt quickly.
We appeal to the government to remove the fear for tourists by presenting the actual picture via Media etc. And keep local administration suitable situation.
We appeal to national and international mainly to comman people, Pilgrims and tourists to comeback again, visit destinations with pristine beauty still intact even after the floods.
Matu Jansangthan is communicating with government and civil society groups to concentrate on this issue along with the relief activities. This step will help in economic rebuilding of Uttarakhand.
Vimalbhai, Puran Singh Rana, Brihashraj Tadiyal, Krishna Yashwanth
Press Note 24 July, 2013