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Devotees start pouring in Haridwar as Kanwar Yatra begins

The Kanwar Yatra is taking place after a gap of two years due to Covid-19. File

The Kanwar Yatra is taking place after a gap of two years due to Covid-19. File | Photo Credit: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

The Kanwar Yatra began on the first day of the Hindu month of Shravan on Thursday amid tight security arrangements with Shiva devotees reaching Haridwar in large numbers to fetch the waters of the Ganga.

The Kanwar Yatra is taking place after a gap of two years due to Covid-19 and the authorities hope that at least four crore Kanwariyas will come to Haridwar and neighbouring Rishikesh to collect the waters of the holy river during the nearly fortnight-long fair.

All arrangements have been made for the yatra and police are committed for making it a success, Uttarakhand DGP Ashok Kumar said.

When asked if the recent rise in Covid infections will affect it, Mr. Kumar said the normal protocol in view of the pandemic is still in place but there will be no special restrictions.

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"All activities have been opened up. The Char Dham Yatra is also going on. There are no restrictions anywhere. We think people should take necessary precautions themselves and participate in the pilgrimage," the DGP said.

He also appealed to devotees to register on policecitizenportal.uk.in/Kanwar for their own convenience although it is not mandatory.

"It is for the convenience of the Kanwariyas only. Many of them get separated from their relatives. If they are registered it will be easier for us to reach their relatives. Therefore, my appeal is they must register. So far, 4,000-5,000 people have registered through the website," he said.

Strict vigil through CCTV cameras, drones

Shiva devotees from several states, including Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan, visit Haridwar and Rishikesh to collect waters of the Ganga and make an offering of it to Lord Shiva in temples back home.

In view of a large crowd of devotees expected to throng the two pilgrimage towns, strict vigil is being maintained through CCTV cameras, drones and monitoring of the social media.

Haridwar and adjoining areas have been divided into 12 super zones, 31 zones and 133 sectors with the deployment of around 10,000 police personnel.

The DGP visited Haridwar on Wednesday and assessed the arrangements at Bairagi Camp, Sinh Dwar, Shankaracharya Chowk, Jwalapur, Neeldhara parking, Rodi Belwala and Har ki Pairi.

The DGP advised Char Dham yatris to avoid using the Haridwar-Roorkee National Highway during the yatra and prefer other routes.


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Printable version | Aug 18, 2022 10:43:05 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/devotees-start-pouring-in-haridwar-as-kanwar-yatra-begins/article65638879.ece