New Delhi [India], July 14 (ANI): As the Uttarakhand government has taken the decision to cancel Kanwar Yatra this year, Union Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy on Tuesday appealed to the people to understand the seriousness of the COVID-19.
Speaking to ANI, Reddy said, "In view of the situation of COVID-19, first Amarnath Yatra and now the Kanwar Yatra has been cancelled. The people must understand the seriousness of the situation. It is our responsibility to save people's lives and look at the economy as well."
"The government is taking precautions to stop the possible third wave of the COVID-19. This is the reason why the Uttarakhand government had to take the decision to cancel the Kanwar Yatra. Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself has appealed to the tourists visiting places to follow the COVID-19 protocols because the third wave will not come after invitation and it will gain momentum due to our carelessness," the Union Tourism Minister said.
He also appealed to people to go out of their houses if necessary and said that COVID-19 SoPs should not be violated.
"As the Union Tourism and Culture Minister, I appeal to the people to go out in public places if necessary. I also appeal to the tourists to follow the COVID-19 protocols when they are in public places. I make this appeal on behalf of PM Modi," he said.
"We can defeat COVID by following the guidelines. Once the positivity rate starts to increase again, it will increase our problems," the minister said.
"We can travel in the future but following the COVID-19 protocols now is important," he added.
The Uttarakhand Government on Tuesday has decided to cancel Kanwar Yatra this year.
Kanwar Yatra is an annual pilgrimage of devotees of Lord Shiva to Hindu pilgrimage sites of Haridwar, Gaumukh and Gangotri in Uttarakhand and Sultanganj in Bihar to fetch holy waters of River Ganga. Later, the holy water is dispensed as offerings to Lord Shiva in temples.
Earlier, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) had written to Uttarakhand Chief Minister to disallow the Kanwar Yatra this year in light of the possible third COVID-19 wave.
In the letter, IMA Uttarakhand State Secretary Dr Ajay Khanna expressed concerns about the crowds that may gather for the annual pilgrimage and urged Dhami not to allow devotees from outside to enter the state for the Yatra. (ANI)