- Trails to the holy pilgrimage sites are littered with garbage
- Over 8 lakh devotees have so far visited Char Dham, lakhs more have registered
- 57 pilgrims have died due to health issues since the Yatra began on May 3
Uttarakhand: The resumption of Char Dham pilgrimage after a two year long covid induced hiatus has resulted in huge footfall in the mountain state. However, this has also resulted in heaps of garbage and plastic waste being dumped in the ecologically sensitive region. The locals and the administration in the area are coping with a mountain of waste that pilgrims and other tourists left behind.
The trails to the holy pilgrimage sites are littered with garbage as over eight lakh pilgrims from across the country and abroad have so far undertaken the Char Dham yatra, visiting the shrines of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri in Uttarakhand.
Hazardous for ecology
The way plastic garbage has piled up in a sensitive place like Kedarnath is hazardous for our ecology. It'll lead to erosion which can cause landslides. We must keep in mind the tragedy of 2013 & remain careful, said Prof MS Negi Head, Department of Geography,Garhwal Central University. Prof. MC Nautiyal, Director, HAPPRC added, "the tourist inflow has risen manifold due to which plastic garbage has increased as we don't have proper sanitation facilities. This has affected the natural vegetation. Medicinal plants are getting extinct as well."
No slots for registration left for May
Lakhs more have registered for the pilgrimage. In fact, there are no slots for registration left for the month of May. It has been made mandatory that people who intend to undertake the pilgrimage are required to register themselves prior to the yatra. Further, the doors of the Hemkund Sahib Gurdwara are opening from May 22.
Limit on number of pilgrims
To ensure seamless and proper arrangements for pilgrims, the authorities have put a limit on the number of people who can undertake the yatra at a time. The number of pilgrims who can visit Badrinath has been fixed at 16,000 per day, Kedarnath 13,000, Gangotri 8,000, and Yamunotri and Hemkund Sahib 5,000 each.
Govt asks only fit pilgrims to embark on Char Dham Yatra
With 57 pilgrims dying en route to the Char Dham shrines since the start of the yatra on May 3, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami appealed to devotees to embark on the pilgrimage only after consulting their doctors.