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HC extends stay on Char Dham Yatra pending Apex court orders

Thursday, 29 July 2021 | PNS | Nainital

Extending its stay on the Char Dham Yatra, the Uttarakhand high court stated that stay will continue till the Supreme Court issues an order on this issue. The high court issued this direction while hearing public interest litigations against the undesirable condition of health services in the state and conduct of the Yatra. The division bench of chief justice RS Chauhan and justice Alok Kumar Verma asked the state government about the steps it had taken to fill the vacant posts in government hospitals. The state was also asked to clarify the actual availability of operational ambulances in district hospitals. The court also directed the officials responsible to personally monitor the ongoing anti-Covid vaccination in the state. The court also asked about the test results of the 300 samples sent for tests for Delta variant. It has also asked how many deaths have occurred in the state so far from Covid-19. The high court has sought detailed response from the state government on all these issues by August 18.

During the hearing on Wednesday, the court was informed that the special leave petition filed by the state against the HC’s stay on the Char Dham Yatra had not been heard yet by the Apex court, considering which the stay on the pilgrimage should be extended. With the government agreeing to this, the court extended the stay till an order is passed by the Supreme Court on the SLP.

The health secretary informed the court that there are 95 blocks in the state and that the government currently has 54 ambulances under the 108 emergency service and requires 41 more ambulances. The recommendation for this has been sent to the Health ministry. The government was unable to provide a satisfactory reply to the court’s question about the number of ambulances in district hospitals. Expressing concern at crowding in tourist destinations especially on the weekends, the court told the state government to direct district magistrates to allow tourists to visit such destinations after necessary checks based on the capacity of the tourist destinations.

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