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In a first, passes to be issued for Mahakumbh in Haridwar next year

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the authorities were expecting over 12 crore pilgrims to attend the Mahakumbh

Updated: Sep 18, 2020, 17:07 IST

By Neeraj Santoshi, Hindustan Times Dehradun

Chief minister TS Rawat addressing a press conference virtually in Dehradun on Friday. He said the Mahakumbh would be held on schedule next year, but in a restricted manner. (Sourced)

For the first time ever, the number of people who can attend Mahakumbh in Haridwar next year will be restricted due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The state government will issue passes to attendees. Before the pandemic, the authorities were expecting over 12 crore people to attend the Mahakumbh.

Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, while speaking at a press conference here on the completion of three and a half years of his government, said Mahakumbh will be held on schedule next year, but in a restricted manne,r and passes will be issued to attendees. He said the decision was taken after a meeting with the members of Akhada Parishad, an organisation of Hindu saints.

Listing the achievements of his government in the last three and a half years, Rawat said good governance, development, employment and zero tolerance to corruption have been their main focus. He said he has fulfilled nearly 85% of the promises he’d made before coming to power.

Also Read: Uttarakhand to bring bill to make wearing face masks in public compulsory

Rawat said the government is focusing on creating employment opportunities in the state. “Between April 2017 and September 2020, 7.12 lakh people were provided employment in the state. Of these, government jobs were provided to 16,000 people, contractual employment to 1.15 lakh people, and self-employment and jobs in private investment projects to around 5.80 lakh people,” he said, adding recruitment process is currently underway for over 7,200 posts.

The CM said under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, employment was provided to 6 lakh people in the state. “This year, over 2 lakh more people were provided employment under this scheme for which Rs 170 crore extra expenses were incurred,” he said.

Rawat said under CAMPA (Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority), over 40,000 people will be provided employment in the next three months.

The CM said that the creation of Garsain as the summer capital and setting up of the Char Dham board have been some of his government’s major achievements in the last three-and-a-half years. He also announced that a world-class science college will be set up in the state.

Also Read: Haridwar: Pilgrims throng Har-Ki-Pauri on Pitra Amavasya

Rawat, while addressing a query about the Char Dham road project, said “A road with 5.5m width won’t work from a strategic and security point of view in the sensitive bordering areas of the state.”

Stressing on the need for a wider road in the strategically important border areas, Rawat said he will urge the Central government to look into this matter.

The all-weather road aims to connect the four shrines of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri via an 826km-long road.

On September 8, 2020, the Supreme Court had ordered that the ministry of road transport and highway’s (MoRTH) circular of 2018 to be followed for the construction of the Char Dham road. The MoRTH circular says that the roads in the hilly and mountain terrains are to be built with 5.5m width (18ft) with two-lane structures (23ft).


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