The Supreme Court has taken self cognizance of the Uttar Pradesh government's decision to allow the Kanwar Yatra amid a possible third wave of the Corona pandemic. A bench headed by Justice Rohinton F Nariman has issued notices to the Center and the Uttar Pradesh government seeking their answers. The court will hear the matter on July 16. Kanwar Yatra is going to start on July 25. In this, Shiva devotees from the northern states travel on foot or by other means to collect water from the Ganges River in Haridwar, Uttarakhand, to be offered to Shiva temples in their regions.
Despite the Uttarakhand government canceling the Kavad Yatra this year, Uttar Pradesh has decided to continue it. The Uttarakhand government has decided to postpone the Kanwar Yatra in view of the confirmation of the Delta Plus variant of Corona in the state and the possibility of a third wave of infection. Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said that Haridwar cannot be made the epicenter of the corona epidemic.
Earlier, Union Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy, while welcoming the Uttarakhand government's decision to cancel the Kanwar Yatra this year, appealed to the people to understand the seriousness of the coronavirus. Speaking to ANI, Reddy said, "In view of the situation of Covid-19, first Amarnath Yatra and now Kanwar Yatra has been cancelled. People should understand the gravity of the situation. It is our responsibility to save people's lives.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) had urged the Uttarakhand government not to undertake the Kanwar Yatra this year. Expressing concern to Dr Ajay Khanna, State Secretary, IMA in Uttarakhand, about the crowd gathering for the annual pilgrimage, the Chief Minister had urged Dhami not to allow devotees from outside to enter the state for the Yatra. However, it said that if necessary, a negative RT-PCR report of corona may be made mandatory for the pilgrims.