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Administration to strictly regulate pilgrim movement

Thursday, 16 MAY 2024 | PNS | DEHRADUN

Stung by the reports of mismanagement and massive traffic jams on the Char Dham Yatra routes, the State administration has swung into action to regulate the movement of pilgrims. The district magistrates (DM) of Chamoli, Rudraprayag, Uttarkashi, Pauri and Tehri have been directed to identify the holding points of pilgrims on the Yatra routes. The pilgrims will be kept at these holding points to ease the load in the shrines. The DMs and the RTOs have been asked to ensure that the pilgrims are visiting the shrines on the dates mentioned in their registrations. The Garhwal commissioner, Vinay Shankar Pandey told the media persons on Wednesday that an unprecedented arrival of the pilgrims is being witnessed in the Yatra this year. He said that last year 6,838 pilgrims visited Yamunotri shrine but this year the number increased to 12,193 on the first day. Similarly 29,000 pilgrims visited Kedarnath this year while last year 18,335 pilgrims were in the Dham on the first day. The capacity of Yamunotri and Kedarnath is 8,000 and 18,000 pilgrims per day.

 Pandey claimed that Yatra is going on smoothly in Badrinath and Kedarnath. He said that the situation is now normal in Yamunotri and things will improve in Gangotri by Thursday. Pandey said that the pilgrims are heading to Gangotri from Yamunotri and to ease load the Yatra has been put on hold at some points. “Due to narrow roads, a gate system has been put in place for vehicles heading for Gangotri. The backlog is getting cleared and the movement of vehicles will soon become smooth,’’ he said.

 Pandey said 26,73,519 pilgrims have registered online for the Yatra till Tuesday afternoon. Similarly 76,120 and 6,251 pilgrims have been registered in offline mode at Rishikesh and Haridwar. He said that many pilgrims whose registration is for later dates in May and for the month of June have embarked on the Yatra. Pandey said that DMs and the transport department have been asked to take strict punitive action on the owners of vehicles transporting such pilgrims.

 The Garhwal commissioner informed that so far 1,26,306 pilgrims have paid their obeisance at Kedarnath, 59,158 at Yamunotri, 51,379 at Gangotri and 39,574 in Badrinath. He said that 11 pilgrims have died so far in the Yatra. Pandey appealed to the pilgrims to consult their doctors before starting the Yatra and advised that those with co-morbidity should not come for the Yatra. He informed that the teams of the health department are engaged in health screening of the pilgrims who are more than 50 years of age.

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