July 9, 2021 3:29:56 am
The Uttar Pradesh government on Thursday said that it would coordinate with three neighbouring states – Uttarakhand, Haryana and Bihar – to facilitate the movement of kanwariyas – pilgrims who travel on foot carrying holy water from Ganga during the Kanwar Yatra, which is set to begin from July 25.
The decision to coordinate with neighbouring states comes in the wake of the BJP government in Uttarakhand deciding not to allow Kanwar Yatra this year due to the ongoing Covid situation.
Sources said that after UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath spoke with his Uttarakhand counterpart on the issue, he called a special meeting of his officials on Friday to review the preparation of the yatra.
“On the direction of Chief Minister, Uttar Pradesh has decided to allow Kanwar Yatra this year by following Covid protocols. We will coordinate with the neighbouring states as well, while a high-level meeting will be chaired by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister for the same on Friday,” said Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awaneesh Kumar Awasthi.
“The Covid protocols will remain the same — maintaining socialdistance and wearing of masks. Other directions will be reviewed in Friday’s meeting,” he added.
Last year, the Kanwar Yatra was not held due to the Covid-induced lockdown.
The BJP government in Uttarakhand on Tuesday cancelled the yatra this year, citing the Covid pandemic. The state’s police authorities appealed to officers of neighbouring states to ask devotees not to come to Haridwar this month for the annual pilgrimage to collect water from the Ganga.
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