Uttarakhand govt approaches Supreme Court against HC stay on Char Dham yatra

The Uttarakhand government on Tuesday approached the Supreme Court against the Uttarakhand High Court order which has stayed to resume the Char Dham Yatra. The state Government has filed a plea before the apex court and a hearing in connection with the Yatra will take place in the High Court tomorrow (July 7).

Despite the High Court staying the Char Dham Yatra on June 29, the Uttarakhand government had issued directives to start the yatra from July 1. 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 after the Uttarakhand High Court had 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.

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