New Delhi: The Uttarakhand Cabinet on Friday (June 25, 2021) decided to partially open the Chardham yatra for locals in limited numbers from July 1. The state cabinet also decided to issue guidelines for Chardham Yatra for pilgrims from Chamoli, Uttarkashi and Rudraprayag. According to the state government, all necessary arrangements will be made and steps will be taken. The cabinet said that all priests will be vaccinated beforehand.
While addressing the media, the Uttarakhand government’s spokesman Subodh Uniyal said Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri will be opened for residents of Chamoli, Rudraprayag and Uttarkashi districts respectively from July 1 with a cap on the number of pilgrims to visit the temples daily.
“Bringing a negative RT-PCR/Rapid Antigen test report will be mandatory for every pilgrim and the SOPs to be followed by them while visiting the temples will be issued separately,” Uniyal said.
A senior official will be appointed for each of the four Himalayan temples who will coordinate with the district administration concerned about the arrangement for pilgrims, Uniyal added.
The spokesman also said that the decision on opening the Chardham yatra for pilgrims from across the state from July 11 will be taken after reviewing the COVID-19 situation in the state.
“There are predictions about the third wave and the Delta mutant of the pandemic. That will have to be taken into account before we go ahead with the decision to open the yatra for the whole of the state. The Cabinet will sit again to take a call on that,” Uniyal said.
Uttarakhand High Court had recently reprimanded the state government for the “haste” being shown in opening the Chardham yatra and asked it to either suspend or defer it.
(With PTI inputs)