The Chardham Yatra in Uttarakhand has begin today after its prolonged suspension due to COVID-19. A day after the Uttarakhand High Court vacated its stay on Chardham Yatra, the state government Friday issued a detailed SOP to start the yatra from Saturday with strict adherence to COVID-19 norms. The Uttarakhand High Court vacated its stay on Chardham Yatra on Thursday in view of the decline in positive cases of the pandemic. The state government was also under pressure to start the yatra as the livelihoods of lakhs of people are linked with the annual pilgrimage.
The yatra remained suspended for months due to the pandemic in 2020 and opened in the month of June with a total of 3,21,609 devotees visiting temples during the entire season amid the Covid-induced restrictions.
Here are the guidelines for Chardham Yatra
- 1,000 pilgrims allowed daily on Badrinath, 800 on Kedarnath, 600 on Gangotri and 400 on Yamunotri
- Mandatory for devotees to carry a certificate of complete COVID-19 vaccination OR a negative RT-PCR test report, not older than 72 hours
- For devotees from Kerala, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, a negative COVID report not older than 72 hours before the date of travel has been made mandatory, despite having received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine
- Pilgrims from within Uttarakhand will not be required to register on the Smart City portal
- Devotees coming from outside the state will have to mandatorily register on the Smart City portal
- Registration and e-pass will be mandatory for 'darshan' in the four dhams
- Holy dip in the 'kunds' at the dhams is prohibited
- For compliance with the arrangements related to the journey, the checkpoints set up on the travel routes will be checked
Meanwhile, Chief Secretary SS Sandhu visited Kedarnath on Friday and directed officials to make adequate arrangements for a safe pilgrimage to the Himalayan shrine.
Sandhu, who also reviewed the progress of the reconstruction projects at Kedarpuri, directed the officials to expedite work without compromising on quality. He advised them to set a weekly target and examine whether they had achieved it at the end of the week in order to speed up the pace of work.
(With inputs from PTI)