Following a surge in Covid-19 cases in Uttarakhand after the Kumbh Mela, the government in the hill state has decided to cancel the annual Kanwar Yatra to prevent the spread of Covid-19. On Tuesday, the state's police requested people to not visit Haridwar during the Kanwar Yatra as it had been cancelled due to the pandemic.
Uttarakhand DGP Ashok Kumar told the media that he had held a meeting with the police of eight states.
Uttarakhand had also cancelled Kanwar Yatra last year due to the first wave of Covid-19. UP and Haryana had also decided to commence with the annual Hindu festival.
This year, however, the Yogi Adiyanath-led government in Uttar Pradesh has decided to allow the annual Yatra in the state from July 25. Officials have been asked to coordinate with neighbouring states to ensure Covid guidelines are followed, a senior official said on Wednesday.
'Kanwariyas' (devotees of Lord Shiva) collect water from River Ganga at Haridwar to offer at Shiva temples in their areas as part of the yatra.
Uttar Pradesh Additional Chief Secretary, Navneet Sehgal told PTI that "Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has asked to coordinate with neighbouring Bihar and Uttarakhand and ensure Covid guidelines are following during the yatra,"
Sehgal said that detailed guidelines regarding the Yatra will be issued soon and a meeting of senior officials will be held to discuss the matter.
Uttrakhand has 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.
(With inputs from PTI)