Chamoli (Uttrakhand)[India], August 5 (ANI): People from several villages in Uttarakhand on Thursday participated in a protest against the state government's decision to not allow Char Dham Yatra.
On Thursday, locals of Govindghat, Pinola, Pandukeshwar, Lambagad, Hanuman Chatti, Bainakuli, Badrinath Bamani and Mana villages protested and raised slogans under the leadership of Badri Sangharsh Samiti. They took out a procession from Saket Tirahe in Badrinath Dham to the Bus Stand.
Demonstrators chant slogans against the local MLA and the Tourism, Cultural and Irrigation Minister Satpal Maharaj.
The Nainital High Court had banned the Char Dham Yatra till August 18 in view of the ongoing pandemic situation. The court has also strongly reprimanded the Uttarakhand government for not following Covid-related protocols at tourist places in the state.
The Char Dham Yatra, which includes a visit to the Kedarnath Temple, attracts lakhs of tourists and devotees every year from across the country and abroad.
Due to the COVID-19, local residents are not allowed to go inside the Badrinath temple.
Villagers said due to the restrictions, many people have been unemployed since the onset of the COVID pandemic. At the protest, villagers were heard urging the government to restart the Char Dham Yatra.
"It is beyond my understanding that when all tourist places had reopened in Uttrakhand with COVID norms, the Char Dham Yatra remains closed. If all tourist places were closed it would have been understandable due to the COVID-19 restriction but only Char Dham Yatra is closed. We request the government to make the Char Dham Yatra smooth as soon as possible so that the plight of people living in the Dham can improve," said Rajesh Mehta, President of Badrish Sangharsh Samiti.
The Nainital High Court on July 28 banned the Char Dham Yatra till August 18 in view of the ongoing pandemic situation in the state.
Earlier Uttrakhand High Court had put a stay on the state government decision to allow the Char Dham Yatra from July 1 from Chamoli, Rudraprayag and Uttarkashi districts.
Following this, the state government challenged the High Court's decision in the Supreme Court and filed a plea in the Apex Court. (ANI)