Recently, the Uttarakhand government was widely criticized for holding Haridwar’s Kumbh Mela amid a surge in coronavirus cases. They were accused of failing to adhere to COVID safety norms such as social distancing and wearing masks when the mela saw millions in attendance. Thousands tested positive at Haridwar, as a result.
Despite a severe second wave of COVID, it appears the Uttarakhand government is preparing for another pilgrimage. The Char Dham Yatra, to 4 shrines, namely- Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri is scheduled to commence from May 14, reports HT.
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In 2021, the Yamunotri shrine will be open on May 14 at 12.15 pm, and the Gangotri shrine will be open on May 15 on the occasion of Akshay Tritya at around 7.30 am.
A few days ago, the Uttarakhand High Court requested the state government to publish the SOP for the upcoming pilgrimage, warning that it shouldn’t turn into another Kumbh. Ravinath Raman, chief executive officer of Char Dham Devasthanam Management Board said safety concerns regarding Char Dham yatra will be discussed in a board meeting on Thursday.
“Whether the numbers will be limited or yatra will be restricted, made symbolic or what sort of curbs will be put, will be discussed during the meeting,” he said.
According to reports in ET, RT-PCR reports will be compulsory for pilgrims and thermal screening of visitors would be conducted.
Uttarakhand reported 6054 fresh cases of COVID and 108 deaths yesterday. However, there was no talk of limiting numbers or calling off the yatra. The High court has directed the state to build transitory hospitals and admit patients who test positive.
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