Dehradun (Uttarakhand) [India], July 24 (ANI): The month of Shravan or Sawan dedidcated to Lord Shiva, that begins on July 25 this year also marks the beginning of the Kanwar Yatra. This year, however, owing to Covid pandemic the Yatra has been cancelled in Uttrakhand, with the state police saying that it won't permit people to enter Haridwar for the usual pilgrimage.
Haridwar administration has not allowed the setting up of Kanwar market around Har ki Paudi river bank. Boundaries of Haridwar district have been sealed to prevent Kanwariyas from across the India to arrive at Haridwar and Har ki Paudi ghat for the festival.
The administration recently ordered the sealing of Har Ki Pauri ghat for Kanwariyas by putting barricades from July 24 to August 6. The decision was taken during an inter-state border meeting in Haridwar in which officers of Uttar Pradesh, Himachal, Punjab, Delhi and Haryana were present.
"All travellers, as well as trains and buses going for Kanwar Yatra, have been barred. However, other tourists can still enter areas like Mussoorie, Nainital and Rishikesh as long as they have their negative RT-PCR test reports with them and have registered at Smart City portal," Uttarakhand director general of police Ashok Kumar said.
"Forces are deployed across all borders of Haridwar and at other smaller places as well. Strict action will be taken against those who misbehave," the DGP said.
Apart from Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Delhi have also banned the Kanwar Yatra to ovoid overcrowding and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Kanwar Yatra is an annual pilgrimage in which devotees of Lord Shiva travel by foot or via other means to collect sacred Ganga water from Haridwar, Gaumukh and Gangotri in Uttrakhand and Sultanganj in Bihar to offer at Shiva shrines in their respective regions. (ANI)