Citing the pandemic, the annual Kanwar Yatra in Uttrakhand has been canceled by the Bharatiya Janata Party government, two months after it hosted over 36 lakh people for the Kumbh Mela, as per a report released by The Indian Express.
To ask devotees for avoiding their visit to Haridwar this month for the annual pilgrimage to collect water from the Ganga, officers of the neighboring States were made an appeal by the state police authorities on Tuesday. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the yatra was not held even the previous year.
Chaired by DGP Ashok Kumar along with police officers of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, and Haryana during an inter-state coordination meeting, the appeal for this year was been issued on the Yatra.
Under the Disaster Management Act and the Epidemic Diseases Act, anyone found entering Haridwar for the Yatra shall be booked along with being placed under quarantine according to the COVID-19 guidelines as mentioned by the DGP. For collecting water from the Ganga, tankers could be sent by the devotees after they coordinate at the police station level as suggested by the Uttarakhand police during the meeting.
Prohibiting the Kanwar Yatra this year in the view of COVID-19, the police move followed an order which was issued recently by the state’s Urban Development Department. Up from 2.8 crores in 2018, nearly 3.5 crore devotees visited Haridwar for the Yatra in 2019.