Mahakumbh prep is also ushering in development, infrastructural projects, amenities and facilities both on a permanent and temporary basis.(HT Photo)
Mahakumbh prep is also ushering in development, infrastructural projects, amenities and facilities both on a permanent and temporary basis.(HT Photo)

Mahakumbh 2021: Uttarakhand HC tells state govt to share SOP on crowd management

  • Before the epidemic, over 12 crore pilgrims were expected to participate in the four-month-long Mahakumbh.
By Neeraj Santoshi, Dehradun
UPDATED ON JAN 12, 2021 06:04 PM IST

Concerned about the crowd management during the upcoming Haridwar Mahakumbh amid the raging pandemic, Uttarakhand High Court on Monday directed the state government to apprise it about steps taken to manage crores of pilgrims and check the possible spread of Covid-19.

The HC also directed the assistant solicitor general of India to “take steps for issuance of Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) dealing with Kumbh Mela 2021”.

The court gave these directions while hearing a bunch of PILs on Monday. The PILs have been filed by Sachdanand Dabral, Dushyant Mainali, and Rajendra Arya related to various issues regarding the fight against the Covid-19 epidemic in the state.

Mainali said the HC has directed secretary health, district magistrate Haridwar and in-charge Kumbh Mela administration to hold a meeting on January 12, 2020, and apprise the court about the same on January 13.

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“The court has also directed the chief secretary, secretary health department, district magistrate Haridwar and in-charge Mela administration to remain present in the hearing on January 13 through video conferencing,” he said.

Before the epidemic, over 12 crore pilgrims were expected to participate in the four-month-long Mahakumbh. However, now, given the epidemic, it is not clear yet how many pilgrims would turn up. The first Shahi Snaan (royal dip) of Mahakumbh will be held on March 11 (Shivratri), second on April 12 (Somwati Amavasya) and the third on April 14 (Baisakhi Mesh Poornima).

On November 24, the Uttarakhand government had stated that it was planning to allow pilgrims to attend Mahakumbh only after undergoing a Covid-19 test. Chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, while reviewing the Mahakumbh preparations, said, "It is our responsibility to ensure that pilgrims can take holy bath safely amid this pandemic. For that, a mechanism should be put in place to allow only those pilgrims who have undergone a Covid-19 test and have tested negative," he said.

On September 23, the HC had directed the state government to appoint monitoring committees across all 13 districts of the state to check the condition of treatment facilities for Covid-19 patients across hospitals, quarantine centres and Covid care centres.

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