No Kanwar Yatra in Uttar Pradesh due to Covid-19
Lucknow, July 17: No Kanwar Yatra will take place in Uttar Pradesh this year, announced the state government. The move to cancel Kanwar Yatra amid the COVID-19 pandemic comes a day after the Supreme Court gave the Yogi Adityanath government time till Monday to reconsider its decision to go ahead with the religious event.
"The Kanwar Yatra has been cancelled by the Kanwar Sanghs on the appeal of the Uttar Pradesh government," Additional Chief Secretary Information Navneet Sehgal said on Sunday.
The yatra was scheduled to start on July 25.
The yatra goes on till the first week of August and sees thousands of Shiva devotees called kanwariyas' travelling mostly on foot from neighbouring states, including Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi to collect water from the Ganges in Haridwar.
The Centre had told the top court that the state governments must not permit any kind of Kanwar yatra because of the pandemic and arrangements should be made for water from the Ganges to be available through tankers at designated places.
Uttar Pradesh had said it was going ahead with a pared-down symbolic version.
The Uttarakhand government has already called off the Kanwar Yatra citing fears expressed by experts of a possible third wave of the pandemic and the risk posed by such gatherings.
Every year, some 30 million Kanwariyas or devotees of Lord Shiva from northern states walk or drive down in groups to collect water from the Ganga in Haridwar and offer it at temples of Lord Shiva back home.