DEHRADUN: Uttarakhand is staring at a crisis of losing Rs 12,000 crore turnover as Char Dham Yatra is virtually cancelled. More than 90 per cent booking of accommodation and vehicles for transportation has already been cancelled.
Mahendra Bhatt, MLA from Badrinath said, "The char Dham Yatra is most likely to be cancelled. The yatra is not only a religious tradition but also provides direct and indirect employment to almost a million people amounting to Rs 12,000 crore turnover."
The stakeholders include temple trusts, hotels, restaurants, chopper companies which provide rides, government and private vehicles, owners of mules and many others.
However, the rituals at all four shrines - Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri will continue.
Earlier, Uttarakhand state tourism minister Satpal Maharaj said that the portals of the Char Dham shrines will open as scheduled on April 26, 29 and 30.
However, the Yatra is now in limbo and it is unsure if people will be able to visit the four shrines amidst COVID-19 pandemic, the minister added.
The year 2019 had seen the highest ever Char Dham Yatra turnout as over 38 lakh pilgrims visited shrines. Many VVIPs including President Ram Nath Kovind, PM Narendra Modi, then Army Chief Bipin Rawat, businessmen Mukesh Ambani and Anil Ambani had visited the state during the Yatra.