The Supreme Court has taken suo motu cognizance over allowing the annual Kanwar Yatra by Uttar Pradesh government amid the fears of a third Covid wave.
The Supreme Court bench of Justice RF Nariman on Wednesday issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government on its decision to proceed with the Kanwar Yatra this year. The matter will be up in the Supreme Court for hearing on July 16.
The Uttar Pradesh government has allowed the annual Kanwar Yatra in the state from July 25 and officials have been asked to coordinate with neighbouring states to ensure Covid guidelines are followed.
‘Kanwariyas’ (devotees of Lord Shiva) collect water from River Ganga at Haridwar to offer at Shiva temples in their areas as part of the Kanwar Yatra. Thousands of devotees from across the country travel on foot to collect the water.
Meanwhile, the Uttarakhand government on Tuesday cancelled the Kanwar Yatra in view of the looming threat of the third wave of Covid-19. It is for the second consecutive year that the Kanwar Yatra is not being held due to the pandemic in BJP-ruled Uttarakhand.
The fortnight-long Kanwar Yatra, which begins with the onset of the month of Shravan around July 25, goes on till the first week of August sees crores of ‘Kanwariyas’ travelling from different states to collect the holy waters of the Ganga.