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'Don't allow Kanwar Yatra, can cause Covid 3rd wave': IMA tells Uttarakhand CM

Kanwar yatra to start with the onset of the month of Shravan around July 25 (HT_PRINT)Premium
Kanwar yatra to start with the onset of the month of Shravan around July 25 (HT_PRINT)

  • The fortnight-long Kanwar yatra that begins with the onset of the month of Shravan around July 25 and goes on till the first week of August
  • Learning from previous failures, 'we should not allow the devotees to enter the boundaries of our state and keep the state safe from third Covid wave', IMA said

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Tuesday requested Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami to cancel the Kanwar Yatra (July – August) in the state in order to control the eruption of third Covid-19 wave.

Drawing the Chief minister's attention to the warnings of medical experts about a third wave of the pandemic in a letter, the IMA's state secretary Amit Khanna asked CM Dhami to not allow the proposed Kanwar Yatra to go ahead.

Reminding the Chief Minister how people went off guard after the first wave and paid a heavy price for it in the form of a stronger and more fatal second wave, the IMA Secretary asked Dhami to take all these things into consideration and take a positive decision in the interest of the state and the country as a whole.

In a letter to CM Dhami, the apex medical body said: "After the first wave, we became off-guard and could not follow the guidelines of the central government delineated for this pandemic which was a gross negligence on our part and consequently lost several of our kins in the menace of the second wave of the Covid pandemic".

Learning from previous failures, "we should not allow the devotees to enter the boundaries of our state and keep the state safe from third Covid wave," Dr Ajay Khanna, State Secretary added.

CM Dhami, who met central ministers including PM Modi in Delhi over the past few days, has already said that though the Kanwar Yatra is connected with the religious sentiments of people saving lives is the state government's topmost priority.

"Even the gods will not want people to die. The priority at the moment is saving lives," he told reporters in Delhi on Sunday when asked whether or not the yatra will be held.

However, a final decision on giving go-ahead will be taken in consultation with neighbouring states including UP, Haryana and others, Dhami had said.

The fortnight-long Kanwar yatra that begins with the onset of the month of Shravan around July 25 and goes on till the first week of August sees crores of Kanwariyas from neighbouring states like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Delhi and Himachal Pradesh gathering in Haridwar to collect the holy waters of the Ganga.

The yatra had been cancelled last year too due to the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic.





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