SC issues notice to UP government for allowing Kanwar Yatra
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh government over its decision to allow the Kanwar Yatra from next week despite an anticipated third wave of Covid 19.
Supreme Court has taken suo moto petition, seeking reply from the Uttar Pradesh government of its decision to allow Kanwar Yatra from July 25. While adjourning the hearing to Friday, the court asked the government to file objections.
The Supreme Court bench headed by Justice RF Nariman on Wednesday issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government on its decision to proceed with the Kanwar Yatra this year.
The Uttar Pradesh government has allowed the annual Kanwar Yatra in the state from July 25, and officials have been asked to coordinate with neighbouring states to ensure Covid guidelines are followed. Further government has stated that Yatra could take place with a minimum number of people and with strict implementation of Covid-19 protocol.
Further UP government has made RT-PCR test mandatory for Kanwar Yatra pilgrims. There should not be any hesitation regarding the safe and successful operation of Kanwar Yatra, the Uttar Pradesh government said.
Every year, over 30 million Kanwariyas from various parts of northern states travel on foot or by other means to collect water from River Ganga at Haridwar to offer at Shiva temples in their areas.
The fortnight-long yatra, which begins with the onset of the month of Shravan, around July 25, and goes on till the first week of August, sees Kanwariyas from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Delhi, and Himachal Pradesh gathering in Haridwar.
However, the Uttarakhand government has cancelled Kanwar Yatra. The chief minister of the Uttarkhand said even the gods will not want people to die. Earlier this year, the Uttarakhand government faced massive criticism over its insistence on holding the Maha Kumbh, which resulted in a spike in COVID-19 cases.
While interacting with the Chief Ministers of North Eastern states, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has came down strongly for huge gatherings at hill stations and city markets - of large crowds without face masks and zero social distancing. Experts have warned against large gatherings during Covid pandemic.