Dehradun (Uttarakhand) [India], July 13 (ANI): Keeping in view the COVID0-19 pandemic, the Uttarakhand Government on Tuesday has decided to cancel Kanwar Yatra this year.
Kanwar Yatra is an annual pilgrimage of devotees of Lord Shiva to Hindu pilgrimage sites of Haridwar, Gaumukh and Gangotri in Uttarakhand and Sultanganj in Bihar to fetch holy waters of River Ganga. Later, the holy water is dispensed as offerings to Lord Shiva in temples.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, at a high-level meeting, decided that like last year, this year too, there will be no Kanwar Yatra to combat coronavirus, officials said.
After considering expert opinions and an in-depth discussion on the finding of the Delta Plus variant of COVID and its effects in the country and abroad, the state government, giving top priority to the protection of human life, decided to postpone the upcoming Kanwar Yatra, they added.
Dhami has directed the Secretary of Home and Director General of Police (DGP) to take appropriate action. He also instructed them to coordinate with the officials of the neighbouring states and to request them for effective action to tackle the pandemic.
Earlier, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) had written to Uttarakhand Chief Minister to disallow the Kanwar Yatra this year in light of the possible third COVID-19 wave.
In the letter, IMA Uttarakhand State Secretary Dr Ajay Khanna expressed concerns about the crowds that may gather for the annual pilgrimage and urged Dhami not to allow devotees from outside to enter the state for the Yatra.
Khanna further said that the yatra is a matter of Shraddha (reverence) and Aastha (faith), and God would not like anyone to die. (ANI)