As Char Dham Yatra is set to resume from September 18, 2021 after Uttarakhand High Court on Thursday lifted the ban and allowed only fully Covid vaccinated people with a mandatory COVID-19 negative report for the annual pilgrimage, the state government has issued a set of protocols to be followed.
The Chief Secretary Dr SS Sandhu has also reviewed the preparations for Char Dham Yatra and has given necessary instructions by holding a meeting with the officials of various departments related to travel including Tourism and Devasthanam Management Board, reported ANI.
The rules say
According to the SOP issued by the state government, over 1,000 pilgrims are allowed daily on Badrinath, 800 on Kedarnath, 600 on Gangotri and 400 on Yamunotri.
Registration & e-pass will be mandatory for 'darshan' in the four dhams. Along with this, it's necessary for devotees to have either both the doses of Covid-19 vaccine or negative COVID report not older than 72 hours.
For devotees from Kerala, Maharashtra & Andhra Pradesh, a negative COVID report not older than 72 hours before the date of travel has been made mandatory, despite having received both doses of thevaccine.
Holy dip in the 'kunds' at the dhams is prohibited. For compliance with the arrangements related to the journey, the checkpoints set up on the travel routes will be checked.
Additionally, pilgrims coming from other states will have to compulsorily register at the Smart City portal.
The government also assured the Court that there will be a strict adherence to the COVID-19 SOP for the Yatra.
The yatra remained suspended for months due to the pandemic in 2020 and opened in the month of 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 on Friday and directed officials to make adequate arrangements for a safe pilgrimage to the Himalayan shrine.
Sandhu also instructed the District Magistrates of Chamoli, Rudraprayag, Uttarkashi and Pauri to make arrangements for road safety, cleanliness, crowd management, traffic arrangements, testing and compliance with the rules of Covid-19 on the Char Dham Yatra route.
Lifting the ban on the yatra, a division bench of the court comprising Chief Justice RS Chauhan and Justice Alok Kumar Verma said the pilgrimage will start with restrictions like a daily limit on the number of devotees visiting the temples.
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