Kedarnath temple
Kedarnath temple
Photo Credit: PTI

Despite the High Court staying the Char Dham Yatra on Monday, the Uttarakhand government issued directives to start the yatra from July 1, reported news agency ANI.

The Uttarakhand government in a fresh set of COVID-19 guidelines for the pilgrimage said that the first phase of the yatra will begin from July 1, while the second phase will commence from July 11.

As per the state government guidelines, the COVID-19 negative report is mandatory for those undertaking the yatra.

The standard operating procedures (SOPs) have been issued for the residents of Rudraprayag, Chamoli and Uttarkashi, reported ANI.

This comes a day after the Uttarakhand High Court on Monday stayed the Chardham Yatra reversing a cabinet decision to open it partially for residents of three districts from July 1.

Expressing dissatisfaction with the state government's arrangements for both pilgrims and tourists during the yatra amid the Covid situation, Chief Justice R S Chauhan and Justice Alok Kumar Verma stayed the Cabinet decision to permit residents of Chamoli, Rudraprayag and Uttarkashi districts to visit Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri from July 1.

Rejecting the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) issued by the state government for the yatra, the court said they were just a copy of the guidelines issued during the Kumbh Mela.

The court has all along been asking the state government to suspend the yatra so that it does not become another "Covid super spreader" like the Kumbh.

However, considering the sentiments attached with the temples, the court asked the government to make arrangements for nationwide live streaming of the ongoing ceremonies.

The state cabinet had on June 25 decided to open the yatra for the residents of these districts where the famous Himalayan temples are located. The four pilgrimage sites in Uttarakhand are Badrinath, Kedarnath, Yamunotri, and Gangotri.

(With inputs from Agencies)

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal