Kanwar Yatra not to go beyond HaridwarJune 19th, 2012 - 6:07 pm ICT by IANS
Dehradun, June 19 (IANS) In a major move to decongest traffic during the month-long yatra by Shiva devotees, the Uttarakhand government Tuesday announced that Kanwariyas will not be allowed to proceed beyond Haridwar.
The yatra begins July 4 and ends on the Shiv Ratri day of the holy Saawan month.
At a meeting presided by Chief Secretary Alok Kumar Jain, the government also banned use of DJs, walking with hockey sticks, other sticks and canes and transporting gas cylinders atop trucks during the yatra.
This, official sources told IANS, was done to ensure that no untoward incident takes place.
“There have been many accidents, violence and choking of the national highways due to the yatra and we are just trying to sort out these nagging problems,” an official said.
Those wishing to go beyond Haridwar to Rishikesh and Gangotri will have to go as tourists and not as Kanwariyaas, police officials said.
Police have been told to coordinate with their counterparts in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi to ensure that the pilgrims from those states follow the guidelines set by the Uttarakhand government.
The yatra witnesses several thousand bare footed Shiva devotees walking several hundred kilometres to Haridwar and beyond to fetch ‘Gangajal’ and take it back to offer it to Shivalingas in their villages.
The yatra poses a law and order scare for the Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh governments as it leads to traffic snarls as well as violent flare ups every year.
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Tags: canes, chief secretary, counterparts, dehradun, devotees, flare ups, gas cylinders, haryana, hockey sticks, kilometres, law and order, national highways, pilgrims, police officials, scare, several thousand, traffic snarls, untoward incident, ups, uttar pradesh