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Defecation near Kedarnath caused floods: Uma Bharti

Defecation near Kedarnath caused floods: Uma Bharti
Highlights

An English daily has quoted Bharti as saying that atheists who came to the holy site defecated near the natural boundary formed by the Mandakini and Saraswati rivers which flowed near the shrine in 1882.

Water Resources Minister Uma BhartiNew Delhi: In what can leave the rationalists completely baffled, the Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti has reportedly claimed that defecation near the pious Kedarnath shrine had caused June 2013 Uttarakhand's devastating floods that killed dozens.

An English daily has quoted Bharti as saying that atheists who came to the holy site defecated near the natural boundary formed by the Mandakini and Saraswati rivers which flowed near the shrine in 1882.

Bharti, who visited the state to meet Dehradun-based Himalayan Institute of Glaciology and Forest Research Institute experts, said that the disrespect of the holy place resulted in nature wrath.

Although the BJP's senior leader also mentioned cloudburst and heavy rains as the prime cause, she specifically pointed at the defecation near the site as one of the reasons, the report said.

Bharti's statement drew criticism and sarcasm on various social networking sites

Meanwhile, Uma announced that the Ganga Rejuvenation Plan will be launched from Uttarakhand where the mighty river originates and said the mission can be achieved only through concerted efforts of the Centre and the state government.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat presented to her a proposal worth Rs 9478 crore for several projects to be undertaken as part of the mission.

On a two-day visit to the state, Bharti, who held a meeting here with central and state government officials on conservation of the Ganga, said the mission can be achieved only through close coordination between the state and the Centre. It will be launched from Uttarakhand, the Minister said, according to an official release.

Noting that the process of rejuvenation of the Ganga has already been set in motion, she said an institution was recently entrusted with the task of water testing at 15-20 points beyond Gomukh (where the river originates).

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