Maharaj asks Bahuguna to address equine deaths

Saturday, 28 May 2022 | PNS | Dehradun

Issuing instructions in what may appear to be a face saving exercise, Tourism minister Satpal Maharaj said that the alarming number of deaths of equines should be checked. The minister’s instructions came a couple of days after a contempt notice was served by an animal rights organisation on this issue.

Maharaj opined that the number of people arriving in Uttarakhand for the Char Dham Yatra is seeing a record-breaking rise which is a matter of happiness for the State. He issued a “warning” stating that under no circumstances should Kedarnath be overcrowded by pilgrims. Senior politician and animal rights activist Maneka Gandhi also talked to Maharaj on the phone regarding the alarming number of deaths of mules and horses on the Kedarnath route. Taking cognisance of this, the minister talked to Animal Husbandry minister Saurabh Bahuguna regarding the regulation equine use on the route.Maharaj also asked Bahuguna to intervene in this matter. The minister strictly told the Tourism secretary Dilip Jawalkar that after their meal, the equines should get three to four hours of rest.

Apart from this, Maharaj further said that pilgrims should be stopped in advance and be sent ahead towards the Char Dham shrines gradually so that crowding doesn’t exert unnecessary pressure on the animals. “It is our responsibility to take care of mute animals and irresponsible actions will not be tolerated,” he said.

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