Prepartions on in full swing for Char Dham Yatra

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Dehra dun, May 6 (UNI) Authorities are making last minute preparations to ensure that all routes of the Char Dham yatra are safe and clean before two of the four sacred dhams -the Yamunotri and Gangotri- open tomorrow.

An estimated 2.21 crore pilgrims will undertake a six-month sojourn to the four most holy pilgrimages nestled in the Himalayan belt of the state from Rishikesh today.

The other two dhams- Kedarnath and Badrinath, will open on May 9.

Chief Minister B C Khanduri at a review meeting yesterday instructed officials of the Yatra board to ensure that pilgrims were provided the drinking water, kerosene, electricity and that signboards displaying route information and parking were properly displayed.

This year, a round-the-clock yatra cell has been set up to check pilgrim grievances. Mobile trauma centres and ten mobile ambulances would be operational from May 15, Tourism Secretary Rakesh Sharma said, adding tourist guest houses, clean bathrooms and trauma centres had been set up in 145 places.

The state Tourism Police would be stationed along the four yatra routes along with 132 trekking guides to assist the pilgrims.

Authorities are also keeping a tight tab on bus drivers and their vehicles to prevent accidents which every each year. As a stringent security measure, drivers will be given alcohol checks while overloading of pilgrims in vehicles will be checked.

A major security measure undertaken by authorites includes extending the yatra period by ten days. This has been done to give pilgrims more time to complete the yatra. This means a pilgrim will now have to complete his visit to three shrines at least in eight days, two shrines in six days and one shrine in four days.

UNI PB RSA DS1237

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