MoS Tourism welcomes Uttarakhand’s decision to cancel Kanwar Yatra

Minister of State for Tourism Ajay Bhatt welcomed the decision of the Uttarakhand government to cancel the Kanwar Yatra and said that the COVID-19 variant present in Jadarpur district of the state could increase the chances of the virus spreading.

“It is our priority to save people’s lives. PM Modi urges us to avoid crowded places and follow COVID standards. The government has decided to suspend Kanwar Yatra given the current situation. We have also appealed to everyone in this regard,” Bhatt told ANI.

The Union Minister said, “The COVID-19 variant present in Gadarpur in Uttarakhand can increase the chances of the virus spreading. We don’t want to risk people’s lives. The government led by Pushkar Singh Damy has taken the right decision at the right time.”

When asked about tourists violating COVID-19 protocols, he said the guidelines should be followed.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji rightly said that everyone should follow the COVID SoPs and should not be careless. He has been constantly pleading with people about this. The Prime Minister has taken the initiative to save everyone. His concern is valid, we should also be concerned.”

The government of Uttarakhand on Tuesday decided to cancel the Kanwar Yatra this year.

Kanwar Yatra is an annual pilgrimage for devotees of Lord Shiva to Hindu pilgrimage sites at Haridwar, Gaumukh and Gangotri in Uttarakhand and Soltanjang in Bihar to fetch the holy waters of River Ganga. Later, holy water is dispensed as offerings to Lord Shiva in temples.

Earlier, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) wrote to the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand to reject the Kanwar Yatra this year in view of the possible third wave of COVID-19.
In the letter, Minister of State for IMA Uttarakhand Dr Ajay Khanna expressed concerns about crowds that might gather for the annual Hajj and urged Dhami not to allow devotees from outside to enter the state for the Yatra. (Source: ANI)

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