Lucknow, Jul 17 (PTI) The annual Kanwar Yatra in Uttar Pradesh has been cancelled this year, a senior government official said here on Saturday night.
The development came a day after the Supreme Court said it cannot allow the Uttar Pradesh government 'to hold 100 percent physical Kanwar Yatra in view of COVID', stressing that sentiments, including religious, are subservient to the Right to Life.
'The Kanwar Yatra has been cancelled by the Kanwar Sanghs on the appeal of the Uttar Pradesh government,' Additional Chief Secretary Information Navneet Sehgal said on Sunday.
The yatra was scheduled to start on July 25.
The Uttarakhand government has already called off the Kanwar Yatra citing fears expressed by experts of a possible third wave of the pandemic and the risk posed by such gatherings.
The yatra goes on till the first week of August and sees thousands of Shiva devotees called ‘kanwariyas’ travelling mostly on foot from neighbouring states, including Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi to collect water from the Ganges in Haridwar.
The Centre had told the top court that the state governments must not permit any kind of Kanwar yatra because of the pandemic and arrangements should be made for water from the Ganges to be available through tankers at designated places.
Uttar Pradesh had said it was going ahead with a pared-down “symbolic” version.
Earlier on Friday, the Supreme Court which had taken suo motu cognisance of the matter had asked the Uttar Pradesh government to inform by July 19 whether it would reconsider its decision to hold a 'symbolic' Kanwar Yatra. PTI SAB RT RT