The Uttarakhand government has approached the High Court to seek removal of the daily limit imposed on the number of pilgrims visiting Chardham.
While vacating its stay on the Chardham Yatra last month, the high court had imposed a daily cap on the number of pilgrims visiting the Himalayan temples as a precautionary measure in view of the Covid pandemic.
As per the SOPs issued by the government, in accordance to to the court mandate, over 1,000 pilgrims are allowed daily on Badrinath, 800 on Kedarnath, 600 on Gangotri and 400 on Yamunotri.
The state government, in a modification application filed before the division bench of Justice R C Khulbe and Justice Alok Kumar on Friday, also said if the cap cannot be removed entirely then the limit should be increased to 3,000 for both Badrinath and Kedarnath, 1,000 for Gangotri and 700 for Yamunotri.
The state government's application said that the daily limit on pilgrims is affecting the earnings of people engaged in Chardham-related businesses as the yatra, which had a delayed start, can go on only till mid-November. However, the court directed that the matter be mentioned in the regular bench of the Chief Justice on Monday.
The rules also state 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.
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. The state had already approached the Supreme Court but withdrew its SLP in the Supreme Court paving the way for the high court to hear its plea.
The Char Dham Yatra attracts lakhs of tourists and devotees every year from across the country and abroad. The four pilgrimage sites in Uttarakhand which are part of the yatra are Badrinath, Kedarnath, Yamunotri, and Gangotri.
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