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Effect of Uttarakhand tragedy: Kanwaria route to be curtailed

17 July 2013, Dehradun, Sandeep Bankhwal

Still unable to overcome from the aftermath of 16 June deluge in the state, the Uttarakhand government has decided to curtail the route of Karwarias, who start to throng the state with the onset of the month of Shravan.  

With the arrival of Shravan, Kanwarias (Lord Shiva’s devotees) with religious zeal and spiritual feelings throng holy cities of Haridwar and Rishikesh arriving in huge groups to carry back the water of pious Ganga on foot to be poured on the Shiva temple of their respective villages. Generally they come from neighbouring states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi.

There are also devotees who go beyond Rishikesh to Gangotri and Gaumukh, where is the origin of the river. However, this year they would not be allowed to move beyond Rishikesh and Haridwar, due to restriction imposed by state government. Their movement will not be allowed this year on the Highway but they would be asked to follow the canal path during their trek.

Taking lessons from tragedy faced by pilgrims during the now abandoned Char Dham Yatra, the state machinery is fully geared up to not have a repeat show. The Uttarakhand police along with PAC will monitor the movement of Kanwarias and also guide them to facilitate the fair.  In order to avoid congestion and over-crowding, registration of each and every Kanwaria has been made compulsory while entering the state.

The carrying of tridents, hockey sticks, baseball bats and loud-speakers by Kanwarias has been banned. Those over-riding on two-wheelers will be immediately prosecuted.

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