Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Wednesday accorded a warm welcome to Kanwariyas in Haridwar, washing their feet and taking their blessings on the banks of the Ganga in Damkoti.
A separate budgetary allocation has been made for the Kanwar Yatra for the first time this year to ensure that Shiva devotees get better facilities and the pilgrimage goes on smoothly, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said.
A part of Lord Shiva can be seen in the Kanwariyas, he said as he praised social and voluntary organisations besides the district administration for making arrangements for the yatra.
A record number of devotees are coming for the Char Dham and Kanwar yatras this year, Mr Dhami said.
More than 27 lakh pilgrims have visited the Char Dham already and over 28 lakh Kanwariyas are in Uttarakhand on date, the chief minister said.
A high-level WhatsApp group has also been formed for constant monitoring of the yatra-related arrangements so that the pilgrims do not face any problem, he said.
Accompanied by MLAs Adesh Chauhan, Pradip Batra, former MLA Sanjay Gupta, Garhwal DIG K S Nagnyal and Haridwar District Magistrate Vinay Shankar Pandey, Mr Dhami also planted trees in Damkoti on the occasion.