DEHRADUN: Uttarakhand government on Friday allowed pilgrims from outside the state to visit Char Dham - the four revered shrines of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamunotri, and Gangotri.
Ravinath Raman, chief executive of Char Dham Devsthanam Board and commissioner of Garhwal division said, "We have issued standard operating procedure for pilgrims from outside the state with conditions such as RT-PCR negative report conducted within 72 hours of entering Uttarakhand or a complete mandatory quarantine period in Uttarakhand after entering the state."
Other conditions are mandatory registration and two-day e-pass, Raman said.
However, the duration can be increased in case of natural calamities such as landslides and heavy rainfall.
Anyone from the containment zone or buffer zone will not be allowed to travel to any of the four shrines.
The SOP also includes a prohibition on entering the sanctum sanctorum of the shrines, touching of the idol of any deity, and bringing offerings such as flowers or sweets.
The officials added that these conditions will be in addition to any other general conditions imposed by state government.
The state government has also put a limitation to the number of pilgrims visiting every shrine per day. The number of pilgrims has been fixed at 800 for Kedarnath, 1200 for Badrinath, 600 for Gangotri, and 400 for Yamunotri shrine. The standard operating procedure also mentioned that every pilgrim must carry identification and address proof.
"We have consulted the district magistrates of respective districts and they have consulted local people. Every precaution will be taken and necessary decisions will be implemented for safe Yatra, " added the CEO.
Last year, more than 38 lakh pilgrims visited the revered four shrines of the hill state.