Uttarakhand Implements New Restrictions After 29 Deaths in Char Dham Yatra
Uttarakhand Implements New Restrictions After 29 Deaths in Char Dham Yatra

Authorities in Uttarakhand have imposed new restrictions following the deaths of at least 29 pilgrims during the initial nine days of the Char Dham yatra. The deaths, primarily due to heart-related issues, occurred in the shrines of Badrinath, Yamunotri, Gangotri, and Kedarnath.

The toll rose sharply on Saturday, with three pilgrims losing their lives, one in Badrinath and two in Yamunotri. Among the deceased was Shashi Kant, a 49-year-old from Surat, who suffered a fatal cardiac arrest in Badrinath, bringing the total deaths at that shrine to four.

Two more pilgrims passed away at the Yamunotri shrine. Kamlesh Bhai Patel, aged 53 from Gujarat, fell ill on his way and was declared dead at a nearby health center. Another pilgrim, 54-year-old Rohini Dalvi from Pune, died in a hospital after falling sick in her hotel in Kharadi village in Uttarkashi. This brought the death toll at Yamunotri to 11.

In Uttarkashi, 11 deaths occurred at Yamunotri and 2 at the Gangotri shrine. In Kedarnath, the death count reached 12, with six deaths on Saturday, mostly due to heart-related issues.

In response to the incidents, authorities in Uttarkashi have implemented new measures to ensure the safety of pilgrims. District Magistrate Dr. Meherban Singh Bisht issued orders limiting the movement of horses and mules on the Shri Yamunotri Dham pilgrimage route. The maximum number of these animals allowed from Janki Chatti to Yamunotri has been capped at 800, and their movement is restricted to between 4 am to 5 pm. Additionally, the order completely bans their movement beyond Ghoda Padav in Shri Yamunotri Dham.

Strict action will be taken against violators under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), following the submission of a joint report emphasizing the need for crowd control to protect pilgrims, lives, and property.

The Char Dham Yatra, which started on May 10 this year, is a Hindu pilgrimage circuit consisting of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath. Situated in Uttarakhand, the yatra sees its peak during the summer months.

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