Kumbh Mela 2021 to begin from April 1: All you need to know
The Uttarakhand government has decided to restrict one of the most sacred pilgrimages, the Kumbh Mela, to 30 days this year. The government will issue the notice about the updated dates by the end of March. The grand fair will now be held from April 1 to April 30 in Haridwar.
The state government has taken the decision due to the ongoing coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic. "The decision has been made to prevent and contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus," news agency ANI quoted Uttarakhand chief secretary Om Prakash as saying.
Here is an all you need to know about the Kumbh Mela:
> The Kumbh Mela is celebrated every 12 years staggered among four sacred sites along the holy rivers - Haridwar, Ujjain, Nashik and Prayag.
> Religious tourism is the backbone of Uttarakhand's economy. Hence, the event comes as a hope of revival for the people associated with the sector, said Seema Nautiyal, Haridwar District Tourism Officer.
> On its website for the Kumbh Mela, the tourism department said it was earlier expecting a footfall of 10 crore pilgrims everyday, but the Covid-19 safety restrictions will reduce the number.
> Preparations for accommodation of around 1.25 lakh pilgrims any day is going on in 800 hotels and 350 ashrams in Haridwar, it further said.
> In order to regain business during religious congregation, a 156-sq km 'mela area' has been marked in three districts of Haridwar, Dehradun and Pauri Garhwal for people linked with hospitality, tourism and civil supplies.
>The district administration has demanded 70,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines for the personnel on duty.
> Passes will be required to take part in the Kumbh Mela. The passes for entry will be issued only after a negative RT-PCR test report, medical certificate and identification proof, said Haridwar District Magistrate C Ravishankar. ANI reported.
> Thousands of temporary toilets, urinals and bathrooms will be established. with the major emphasis Solid Waste Management (SWM) and sanitation amid the raging pandemic.
> CCTVs at multiple locations, deployment of police personnel (CRPF, SDRF, NDRF, etc), medical centres and dispensaries have been established to ensure safety in Kumbh 2021.
> Several cultural initiatives like paint my city, laser shows, branding, water screen projection, facade improvement, intersection development, riverfront development, road restoration and construction, and Railway Station as well as Bus shelter beautification have been taken for attracting tourists.
> Under the 'Paint My City' campaign executed by the Haridwar-Roorkee Development, Mela Deputy Officer Harbir Singh told ANI that colorful mythological graffities depicting the epics and culture of Uttarakhand has been done across walls, bridges, government buildings, and other spaces in Haridwar.