UP likely to announce decision on Kanwar Yatra by today evening: State Health Minister

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Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Jai Pratap Singh. (Photo/ANI)
Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Jai Pratap Singh. (Photo/ANI)

New Delhi [India], July 16 (ANI): Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Jai Pratap Singh on Friday said that the state government will look into the directions issued by the Supreme Court regarding the Kanwar Yatra and is likely to announce its decision by the evening today.

Speaking to ANI, the UP Health Minister said that till now the Chief Minister was busy with PM Modi's program, so a decision is expected on it by this evening.

"The Chief Minister was busy with PM Modi's program, so a decision is expected on it by this evening. Chief Minister will hold a discussion on the Supreme Court's observation on Kanwar Yatra and will abide by whatever judgment it passes on Monday," said Singh.

Singh arrived in Delhi on Friday to make courtesy call on the Union Health Minister.

"So far, we have informed the Home Department about the manner in which the Covid protocols will be followed for the Kanwar Yatra. The way in which government managed to fight Corona in 2020 and 2021, it is being strengthened now," said Singh.

"Despite having a large population, today only 80 to 90 cases of corona are coming in Uttar Pradesh. Even if we give permission to take out the Kanwar Yatra, there would not be a huge crowd in it. Arrangements will be made that people leave the temples just by offering water," he added.

Minister also asserted that the government is fully prepared for the third wave.

"As many scientists have expressed the fear of the third wave, in such a situation we are also strengthening our preparations. In these, facilities like making paediatric wards in every district have been developed. How the coronavirus mutates in the third wave will be known only later, but our preparations have been completed for this," said Singh.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court granted one last opportunity to the Uttar Pradesh government to reconsider its decision of holding "symbolic Kanwar Yatra" amid the COVID-19 pandemic while stressing that the health of the citizens of India and the right to life are paramount.

A Bench headed by Justice Rohinton F Nariman gave an ultimatum to the Uttar Pradesh government to either "reconsider" its decision or the court will pass orders on Monday.

On July 9, the Chief Minister had said that he would hold talks with the Kanwar Sanghs.

On Tuesday, the Uttarakhand government decided to cancel the Kanwar Yatra this year in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Kanwar Yatra, in which Shiva devotees from northern states travel on foot or by other means to collect water from River Ganga at Haridwar, Uttarakhand, to offer at Shiva temples in their areas, is set to begin on July 25. (ANI)

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