Now, Chardham pilgrims will have to take an alcohol test before yatra
If you are planning to undertake the Chardham Yatra in Uttarakhand this year, ensure that you are completely sober while at it.india Updated: Mar 28, 2017 07:47 IST
If you are planning to undertake the Chardham Yatra in Uttarakhand this year, ensure that you are completely sober while at it.
The state’s tourism department has planned mandatory, and multiple, alcohol tests for pilgrims visiting Gangotri, Yamunotri , Kedarnath and Badrinath shrines for pilgrimage season – 2017, which will begin with the opening of Gangotri Temple portals on April 28.
The pilgrims will also be issued exclusive photo identity cards, which they will have to keep with them throughout the course of the yatra.
According to state tourism minister Satpal Maharaj, the decision has been taken not just to maintain the sanctity of the pilgrimage but also to prevent any untoward incident from taking place en route the higher hills.
“Alcohol tests of pilgrims will be conducted at select points. The government will soon come up with a plan for its implementation,” Maharaj told Hindustan times after his first departmental review meeting, held recently.
Maharaj said no such restriction will be placed on pilgrims staying at hotels.
Sources said there have been reports of several tourists undertaking the pilgrimage in an inebriated state.
Opposition Congress has expressed its reservations over the implementation of the policy. “Preventing sanctity of pilgrimage shrines is fine but what about the right of people who want to consume liquor? What will be status of liquor shops on the pilgrimage routes? We will wait and watch how things shape up ,” said Congress leader Surendra Kumar.