Chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Thursday inaugurated the annual ‘Chardham Yatra (pilgrimage) 2017’ at Rishikesh by flagging off buses carrying the first lot of pilgrims to the fabled religious circuit.
Welcoming the pilgrims from across the country, he said he was praying to god to fulfill their wishes following pilgrimage to the Chardham.
Rawat said the state government was fully prepared for the annual Chardham pilgrimage.
“We are closely monitoring the preparations for the Yatra each day,” an official note quoted him as saying.
“Officials have also been asked to closely monitor the fitness of vehicles plying on the Chardham route,” he said.
Rawat warned of strict action against those running vehicles ferrying pilgrims on the Yatra route in violation of the prescribed fitness norms. He also directed officials to carry out registration of pilgrims undertaking the Yatra.
“(Similarly), the state government should have all records relating to their (pilgrims) registration,” he said while asking the media to not magnify the natural incidents like cloudbursts occurring on the Yatra route.
He said the Centre had released the budget for the all-weather Chardham road network project and the Rishikesh-Karnaprayag rail project. “We are also trying to propagate religious tourism and spiritual activity like Yoga in the state,” he said.
Rawat said President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposed visit to the Chardham would send out a message across the country that the Chardham yatra was safe.
The CM was indirectly referring to the general impression about Uttarakhand being an unsafe destination that gained ground after the calamitous floods hit the mountain state in 2013 killing thousands of people.
Later, the chief minister participated in a programme aimed to clean up the seasonal rivers of Rispana and Suswa that pass through Dehradun. He also sprinkled a special bio chemical into the rivers to clear them of the garbage.