DEHRADUN: Uttarakhand government has fixed the number of daily pilgrims allowed to visit the four shrines or Char Dham Yatra which commences on May 6 with the opening of the portals of Kedarnath.
The daily numbers for Kedarnath have been fixed at 12000, 15000 for Badrinath, 7000 for Gangotri and 4000 for Yamunotri.
Harish Chandra Semwal, secretary, culture said, "The pilgrims are required to register themselves before the visit. Registration facilities are available online (www.registrationandtourism.uk.gov.in) as well as offline. This system is for the first 45-days of the yatra. For further arrangements, the decision will be taken depending on the situation including the Covid 19 factor."
The Covid-19 test report is not mandatory but Covid safety protocols including wearing masks and social distancing will be enforced, said officials.
To date, 2.86 lakh people have registered for the Yatra. The Yatra route will also be closed from 10 pm to 4 am to the four shrines to avoid road accidents.
This year will be the first time after 2019 (hit by the pandemic) that the pilgrimage is expected to take place hassle-free.
In the year 2019, over 38 lakh pilgrims visited the four shrines.
The offerings also came down to a valuation of Rs 8 Crore in the year 2020 from Rs 55 Crore in comparison to the year 2019.
In 2021, the pilgrimage witnessed a jump in comparison to the previous year. In 2021 more than 5 lakh pilgrims visited the four shrines while in 2020, 3.22 lakh pilgrims visited the shrines.
Officials said that the numbers dipped due to the Covid-19 pandemic following which the yatra was suspended in 2020.
In 2021 the pilgrimage started on September 18 following a nod from the Uttarakhand High Court.
The HC had allowed Char Dham Yatra with Covid safety measures and restrictions. Total 800 devotees were allowed at Kedarnath Dham, 1200 at Badrinath, 600 at Gangotri and 400 devotees at Yamunotri in a day.
Interestingly, the Char Dham law which was brought in by Trivendra Singh Rawat government to control the four shrines and 51 other temples was abolished this year in March 2022 with management going back to the traditional system.
All stakeholders including priests, hotels and homestay owners are expecting good business.
The stakeholders include temple trusts, hotels, chopper companies that provide rides, transportation vehicles- private and government-owned, owners of mules and many others.
The yatra provides work to more than 10000 people directly or indirectly forming an economic ecosystem that benefits the shrines as well as the areas around these shrines.
Last year, to compensate for economic damages due to the cancellation of the Char Dham Yatra, religious tourism and other touristic activities in Uttarakhand for second consecutive year, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Wednesday announced a relief package of around Rs 200 Crore for over 1.63 lakh people in the state.