Dehradun: On Tuesday, the Uttarakhand government filed a petition with the Supreme Court challenging the state High Court’s order to stay the Char Dham Yatra.
The news agency reports that the state government has filed a petition with the apex court. There will be a hearing in connection with the Char Dham Yatra on Wednesday in the High Court.
The development occurred just two days after Pushkar Singh Dhami swore in as Uttarakhand’s 11th chief minister to replace retired Tirath Singh Rawat, who resigned on Saturday.
On June 30, the Uttarakhand government had filed an appeal with the Supreme Court against the High Court’s stay order.
The Uttarakhand High Court stayed the state cabinet’s decision to allow Char Dham Yatras with a limited number of pilgrims on June 28 and ordered live streaming of Char Dham shrines.
Earlier, the High Court had ordered the government to re-file its affidavit by July 7. Due to Covid-19 and poor health preparedness, the High Court put the government’s decision on hold.
According to experts, the “ill-decision” of holding the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar in April was one of the factors that led to the steep rise of the Covid second wave.
‘There is, therefore, a strong prima facie case for not permitting the Char Dham Yatra, even in a limited manner. For, the lives of the people may be exposed to the danger of the Delta Plus variant, and to the third wave of COVID-19. In allowing Char Dham Yatra, we would again be inviting catastrophe,’ the high court order said.
State Cabinet had decided on June 25 to partially open the Char Dham Yatra on July 1 to locals in limited numbers. The yatra was initially open to residents of Chamoli, Uttarkashi and Rudraprayag districts with a limit on the number of pilgrims permitted to visit the temples daily.
The state government announced that guidelines would be issued for pilgrims from three districts. Subodh Uniyal, the spokesperson for the government, informed that pilgrims were allowed to travel from Chamoli, Uttarkashi and Rudraprayag.
Char Dham Yatra covers four pilgrimage sites in Uttarakhand: Badrinath, Kedarnath, Yamunotri and Gangotri.