Char Dham Yatra decision impractical: Uttarakhand High Court

The bench took note of the prevailing Covid situation and the vaccination data of Rudraprayag, Chamoli and Uttarakashi.

Published: 27th June 2021 09:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th June 2021 09:56 AM   |  A+A-

Badrinath-Kedarnath Temple

The Char Dham yatra has been suspended this year with rituals allowed to be performed by the priests to uphold tradition.  (File | PTI)

DEHRADUN: Calling the state government decision of starting the Char Dham Yatra “impractical if not foolhardy”, the Uttarakhand High Court has directed the government to review its decision to commence the Yatra from July 1.A division bench comprising Chief Justice RS Chauhan and Justice Alok Verma said in its order dated June 23: “Perhaps the yatra needs to be postponed or canceled, as in the case of the Amarnath Yatra.”

The bench took note of the prevailing Covid situation and the vaccination data of Rudraprayag, Chamoli and Uttarakashi. “Such a scenario would not only endanger the lives of the local population but could also spread the virus. Thus, it would be highly impractical, if not, foolhardy, to commence the Char Dham Yatra in the near future,” the bench observed.

The court also referred to Mahakumbh and the infection that could have been caused by such large gatherings in May this year. “The court is of the firm opinion that a catastrophe like Covid should not be re-invited and by allowing the Char Dham Yatra,” said the court.The court in its order also mentioned how lakh of people were allowed to congregate at Har-ki-Pauri in Haridwar for a dip in the Ganga without caring about its consequence.

It said keeping in mind the economic loss to those attached to the yatra, the government could announce an aid package for those associated with religious tourism.“The court is of the opinion that live-streaming from the Char Dham shrines can be done for the benefit of the people. It is imperative that the decision of the state government should be reviewed,” said the court.Meanwhile, the Uttarakhand state cabinet on Friday decided to commence the Char Dham Yatra for local pilgrims from three districts -- Rudraprayag, Chamoli and Uttarkashi -- where four shrines Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri are located.


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