Kanwariyas exempted from ‘no helmet no fuel’ rule
The district administration of Gautam Budh Nagar has exempted Kanwariyas crossing the district from the ‘no helmet no fuel’ rule. On Thursday, the district administration directed all fuel stations to not apply the rule on the devotees who will be crossing the district between July 24 and July 28.
General secretary of the Uttar Pradesh Petroleum Traders Association Dharamveer Chaudhari said, “We have been ordered by the district magistrate that Kanwariyas should be allowed to buy fuel at petrol pumps even if they are not wearing helmets. We have told all petrol pumps about the same.”
The ‘no helmet no fuel’ initiative was started in GB Nagar from June 1. The initiative was initially introduced for 10 days, but the success of the drive led to its permanent implementation of the rule.
Amid terror threats, unprecedented security measures have been taken by the police of several northern Indian states to ensure a peaceful Kanwar Yatra this season. Drones are being used extensively to monitor the sea of devotees, which is expected to cross four crore.
From traffic police helping Kanwariyas cross roads safely to closure of schools and highways, administrations of various districts the devotees pass through have made elaborate arrangements to ensure Kanwariyas, lakhs of whom cross the northern plains during the monsoon season every year, and residents are not inconvenienced.
On Friday, officials from the food safety department conducted multiple inspections and took food samples to ensure that poor quality food is not served to the Kanwariyas. “The chances of food poisoning increases during the monsoons, so we have to ensure that nobody falls sick by consuming poor quality food. We have been conducting random checks at camps set up for Kanwariyas and taking samples of suspicious looking edibles,” food safety officer Sanjay Sharma said.
Officials took samples of red chili powder, garam masala and namkeen snack from camps in sectors 66 and 53. Officials will be specially keeping a tab on milk products and the quality of oil used to make fried snacks.
“We are also speaking to people who have set up camps to spread awareness on the hygiene which should be followed strictly to only provide safe food to travelers. Our officials are also spreading awareness on the quality of food,” Sharma said.
The Kanwar yatra is an annual pilgrimage of Shiva devotees, known as Kanwariyas, wherein they visit holy places including Haridwar, Gaumukh and Gangotri in Uttarakhand and Sultanganj in Bihar to bring water from the Ganges to their homes. The pilgrimage started on July 17 this year.