- Uttarakhand government announces compliance with the Uttarakhand HC orders
- Earlier, the state had decided to commence the pilgrimage in two phases, mandating negative RT-PCR reports for all pilgrims
- The first wave of pandemic had a limited footfall due to delayed opening and COVID restrictions
Dehradun: Ahead of the auspicious pilgrimage to commence, the state authorities on Tuesday postponed the Char Dham Yatra with immediate effect till further orders, in compliance with the order of the Uttarakhand High Court.
Earlier, Defying the Uttarakhand HC’s order on holding Char Dham Yatra this year, the state government had issued a fresh set of COVID protocols to commenced the pilgrimage from July 1.
The Uttarakhand government has earlier announced a biphasic pattern of the Char Dham Yatra this year, with phase 1 commencing from July 1 and second phase 10 days later. Negative RT-PCR report was mandated for all the visitors of Badrinath and Kedarnath shrines.
However, on Monday the Uttarakhand High Court stayed the state Cabinet’s decision permitting Char Dham yatra with a limited number of pilgrims. The court also ordered live streaming of Char Dham shrines.
Though the four Himalayan temples were opened for regular prayers in May, it was decided to keep them out of bounds for pilgrims till further orders due to the raging second wave of Covid-19. Char Dham Yatra was hit by the pandemic last year as well, with pilgrimage to the temples delayed by several months.
The Uttarakhand High Court in May came down heavily on the state government for not ensuring Covid protocols during Kumbh Mela and Char Dham Yatra in the midst of a devastating wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.