Char Dham Yatra Set To Begin, Uttarakhand Issues Crowd Caps For Temples

Uttarakhand government's SOP put a cap of 1,000 pilgrims daily at Badrinath, 800 at Kedarnath, 600 at Gangotri and 400 at Yamunotri.

Char Dham Yatra Set To Begin, Uttarakhand Issues Crowd Caps For Temples

Uttarakhand High Court vacated stay on Char Dham Yatra amid decline in Covid cases. File

Dehradun:

The Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand will begin on Saturday after its prolonged suspension due to COVID-19.

A day after the Uttarakhand High Court vacated its stay on Char Dham Yatra, the state government today issued a detailed SOP to start the yatra from Saturday with strict adherence to COVID-19 norms.

Imposing a daily limit on the number of pilgrims visiting the Himalayan temples, the SOP put a cap of 1,000 pilgrims daily at Badrinath, 800 at Kedarnath, 600 at Gangotri and 400 at Yamunotri.

Showing a document certifying administration of both doses of the anti-Covid vaccine at least 15 days back or a negative RT/PCR/TrueNat/CBNAAT/RAT Covid test report not older than 72 hours will be compulsory for every pilgrim visiting the shrines, it said.

Pilgrims from inside the state will not be required to register on the Smart City portal but it will be compulsory for those coming from outside.

The Uttarakhand High Court vacated its stay on Char Dham Yatra yesterday in view of the decline in positive cases of the pandemic.

The state government was also under pressure to start the yatra as the livelihoods of lakhs of people are linked with the annual pilgrimage.

The yatra remained suspended for months due to the pandemic in 2020 and opened in June with a total of 3,21,609 devotees visiting temples during the entire season amid the Covid-induced restrictions.

Meanwhile, Chief Secretary SS Sandhu visited Kedarnath today and directed officials to make adequate arrangements for a safe pilgrimage to the Himalayan shrine.

Mr Sandhu, who also reviewed the progress of the reconstruction projects at Kedarpuri, directed the officials to expedite work without compromising on quality.