On 10 July 2021, Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath permitted the Kanwar Yatra. He asked his officials to take care of covid protocols amidst the yatra and to coordinate with other states regarding covid guidelines during the yatra. Whereas, Uttarakhand Chief Minister, Pushkar Singh Dhami reviewing his decision on Kanwar Yatra with due respect to expert’s advice.
Yesterday after CM, Yogi’s approval on Kanwar yatra, experts opposed his decision and stated that “Kanwar yatra will be 5 times more dangerous than Kumbh Mela”. Uttarakhand is not prepared for adverse variants of covid experts suggest any such activity like Kanwar yatra and tourism should be taken care of immediately.
Kanwar Yatra will be a bigger super spreader than Kumbh Mela as the number of devotees and pilgrims is likely to be higher than that of Kumbh Mela this year. The number of pilgrims last year has ranged up to 2-5crores. On seeing this huge number experts have cautioned Uttarakhand regarding this event.
According to the Founder of Social Development for Communities Foundation, Uttarakhand, Anoop Nautiyal said that even if the correct and strict standard operating procedures are followed, the huge crowd can not be controlled.
“If the correct decision is not taken Uttarakhand is most likely to be affected by the third wave along with the delta plus variant and other variants of covid, for which Uttarakhand is not prepared” adds Mr. Nautiyal
Later, CM Pushkar Singh Dhami held a meeting with the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, and the Home Minister, Amit Shah to review the decision of Kanwar Yatra which must start from 25 July according to the Hindu calendar. Uttar Pradesh CM has already allowed Kanwar Yatra to start from 25 July.
Kanwar Yatra was earlier canceled last year by the previous CM of Uttarakhand, Tirath Singh Rawat, due to the pandemic while this year CM Pushkar Singh Dhami is still reconsidering their decision on holding the event.
In an exclusive interview with Aaj, Tak Dhami said, “Uttarakhand is only the host. Crores of people from Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and others come for the yatra. A decision will be taken after speaking to these states." Any decision regarding Kanwar Yatra is still pending from Uttarakhand’s side.
He concluded on this topic by adding that saving the lives of people is his government’s priority and even God would not like people taking life risks due to covid and attend the yatra.
“It is a matter of faith of millions however, people's lives should not be threatened. Saving lives is our priority. God would not like it if people lost their lives to Covid due to the yatra." CM Dhami said on Kanwar Yatra.
Meanwhile, DGP Uttarakhand, Ashok Kumar who was present in the meeting said that the officials discussed all the pros and cons related to Kanwar Yatra.
The Uttarakhand Government should take its decision after considering the current scenario and the controversies’ that happened after the Kumbh Mela. A strict SOP and rules must be laid down if Kanwar Yatra happens. However, due to the experts, the state government should not give any decision in favor of Kanwar Yatra amidst covid.
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