'No shelters, toilets for pilgrims': Opposition slams Uttarakhand government for Char Dham Yatra 'mismanagement'

The yatra is being conducted on a full scale after a gap of two years due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Published: 15th June 2022 10:05 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th June 2022 10:05 PM   |  A+A-

Badrinath-Kedarnath Temple, Char Dham

Badrinath-Kedarnath Temple (File Photo | PTI)


DEHRADUN: The Congress on Wednesday slammed the Uttarakhand government for the Char Dham Yatra "mismanagement", saying it has led to the death of hundreds of pilgrims, horses and mules on the way to the Himalayan temples.

Initiating a discussion on the subject in the state Assembly, Leader of Opposition Yashpal Arya said there were no shelters for pilgrims, proper roads and enough doctors en route to the shrines despite the fact that an unprecedented rush of pilgrims was expected.

The yatra is being conducted on a full scale after a gap of two years due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Twenty lakh pilgrims have already visited the shrines within 40-42 days of commencement of the yatra but at the same time, 152 pilgrims and hundreds of horses and mules have died on way to the temples due to a variety of factors," Arya said.

He said the government must ask itself whether its arrangements were commensurate with the expected rush of pilgrims.

Arya said horses and mules died in large numbers due to being overburdened and their bodies dumped into the rivers.

The opposition MLAs also criticised Tourism and Culture Minister Satpal Maharaj, who is also a spiritual teacher, for his absence from the Assembly.

Khatima MLA Bhuvan Chandra Kapri said such chaos and confusion would not have prevailed in Kedarnath if the pilgrims were allowed to go up to Gaurikund instead of being stopped on the borders of Rudraprayag district.

The pilgrims who had bookings for Gaurikund were stopped at Rudraprayag borders where there were no shelters for them, he said.

"For a stretch of 18 km, there were no shelters for pilgrims on the way to Kedarnath, no toilets for them for 4 km," Kapri said.

Similarly, Badrinath-bound pilgrims should have been allowed to go up to Joshimath where they had their bookings, he said.

He said horses and mules were dying because they were not being given proper lukewarm water to drink after carrying the load up the steep slopes.


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