The Centre on Sunday (January 24) issued guidelines for the upcoming Kumbh Mela at Haridwar in Uttarakhand amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
As per the SOPs, all devotees desirous of attending the mela must register with Uttarakhand government. The devotees also have to obtain a compulsory medical certificate from Community Health Centre or district hospital or medical college in their state.
The 2021 Kumbh fair will be a 48-day-long event and the Uttarakhand government will issue the notification for the same by February end.
The Maha Kumbh Mela began on January 14, 2021, and will end in April. Due to the pandemic, this year the Kumbh Mela will be held for 48 days in Haridwar instead of three-and-a-half months. The Maha Kumbh is celebrated in a cycle of 12 years at four river-bank pilgrimage sites. The fair will conclude on April 27.
The National Security Guard (NSG) commandos will also be deployed at the mela. Uttarakhand Police Commissioner Ashok Kumar said, “To take action against the anti-national elements, two NSG teams will be deployed during Kumbh Mela. The NSG teams will also train our Anti-Terrorist Squad.”
The central government has also acknowledged that since the Mahakumbh receives devotees from various states of the country as well as from abroad, it is necessary to take precaution. To be sure, the state government has asked the Centre for 20,000 additional vaccines. The state COVID-19 Control Room chief Dr Abhishek Tripathi divulged that the state government has sent a proposal for the same to the centre.
Meanwhile, the Uttarakhand government on Friday authorised Garhwal Commissioner and the Kumbh Mela official to allocate works up to worth Rs 5 crore and Rs 2 crore respectively to speed up preparations for the Kumbh Mela. The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Friday (January 22) evening, PTI quoted Cabinet minister Madan Kaushik as saying.
The cabinet also gave its nod to release Rs 3.79 crore for payment of scholarship dues to scheduled caste students of Class 9 and 10 of 2017-18 and 2018-19 sessions