After cancelling Kanwar Yatra, Uttarakhand to send Gangajal via post to devotees
Uttarakhand had on Tuesday announced that it is suspending the annual Kanwar Yatra this year in view of the Covid-19 situation. Union tourism minister G Kishan Reddy called it a "responsible" decision and appealed to the people to understand the seriousness of the Covid-19.
The Uttarakhand government has decided to send the water of holy river Ganga (Gangajal) via post to devotees, day after cancelling the Kanwar Yatra. News agency ANI quoted Haridwar district magistrate C Ravishankar as saying that the government is also planning to supply Gangajal in tankers to neighbouring states.
"We've started process of sending Gangajal via post to devotees. We're also planning to supply Gangajal in tankers and are in talks with administration of neighbouring states to avoid large number of gathering here," Ravishankar said on Wednesday.
Uttarakhand had on Tuesday announced that it is suspending the annual Kanwar Yatra this year, scheduled to begin on July 25, in view of the Covid-19 situation. As part of the pilgrimage, lakhs of devotees travel through several states on foot to 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.
"We discussed with higher officials and with officials from neighbouring states and decided that we will not hold Kanwar Yatra at this time. A variant has been found in Gadarpur so we don't want to make Haridwar the centre of Covid," chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said.
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Union tourism minister G Kishan Reddy called it a "responsible" decision and appealed to the people to understand the seriousness of the Covid-19.
"In view of the situation of Covid-19, first Amarnath Yatra and now the Kanwar Yatra has been cancelled. The people must understand the seriousness of the situation. It is our responsibility to save people's lives and look at the economy as well," he said after the Uttarakhand government announced its decision to call off the pilgrimage.
The police in Haridwar has asked people to not come to the holy city since the Kanwar Yatra has been cancelled. In a notice, the police said that all entry and exit points of Haridwar district have been sealed.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) too had highlighted the risk of holding the Kanwar Yatra in the wake of a possible third wave of Covid-19.
In the letter, IMA Uttarakhand State Secretary Dr Ajay Khanna expressed concerns about the crowds that may gather for the annual pilgrimage and urged the Uttarakhand chief minister to not allow devotees from outside to enter the state for the yatra.