UP, Uttarakhand to hold talks with neighbouring states on Kanwar Yatra

In a meeting, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami directed officials to hold detailed discussions with other states and consider all aspects while taking a decision on the yatra.

The governments of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand said on Thursday that they would hold talks with their neighbouring states regarding the Kanwar Yatra.

In a meeting, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami directed officials to hold detailed discussions with other states and consider all aspects while taking a decision on the yatra.

The CM’s meeting came after the state’s Urban Development Department issued an order prohibiting the Kanwar Yatra this year in view of Covid-19 pandemic.

The yatra was not held last year due to Covid restrictions.

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh’s Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awaneesh Kumar Awasthi said the state would allow Kanwar Yatra this year by following Covid protocols. He also said the UP government would coordinate with three neighbouring states —Uttarakhand, Haryana and Bihar — to facilitate the movement of kanwariyas, pilgrims who travel on foot carrying holy water from Ganga during the Kanwar Yatra, which is set to begin from July 25.

“The Covid protocols will remain the same — maintaining social distance and wearing of masks. Other directions will be reviewed in Friday’s meeting,” Awasthi added.

Sources said that after UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath spoke with his Uttarakhand counterpart on the issue, he called a special meeting of his officials on Friday to review the preparation.

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