Mahakumbh 2021 begins in Haridwar with Covid guidelines

Express News Service
DEHRADUN: Amid rising concerns of the Covid 19 outbreak in Mahakumbh and rumours of shortage of police force, the Inspector General of the mela area has written to Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (RSS) and Congress Sewa Dal requesting assistance in crowd management. 

The letter was written to state chiefs of the two groups citing crowd menace and traffic management among other issues and requesting deployment of volunteers.

“The Mahakumbh is one of the most important religious events of the country. We want to ensure that every available help and resources are ready. The help was sought based on the commendable job both the groups have done in the past when it comes to public welfare,” Sanjay Gunjyal, IG, Kumbh told TNIE.

Commenting on the issue, Sumit Hridayesh, member of All India Congress Committee said, “Congress Sewa Dal has always worked for the people. Be it the 2013 tragedy in the state or any other occasion, we have always put the people first. Sewa Dal will do as asked.”

Meanwhile, director-general of police, Uttarakhand has said that around 20,000 soldiers have been deployed by all the forces to ensure peace and strict implementation of all Covid-19 protocols during the Mahakumbh. 

Ashok Kumar, DGP Uttarakhand commenting on the concerns related to ongoing Kumbh said, “All arrangements are in place for upcoming Shahi Snan when the highest number of pilgrims visit the holy city of Haridwar. I urge everyone to follow Covid safety norms.”

When asked about the shortage of forces in Mahakumbh, officials said that there is no problem.

On April 14, which is also the day of Baisakhi festival the estimates suggest that over 1 crore devotees may visit the holy city of Haridwar. Officials also added that over 2 crore devotees can visit Haridwar between April 11-14. 

Earlier, the estimates were about 50-60 lakh people visiting the congregation but with the change of guard in the state things changed drastically.

Meanwhile, a total of 550 cases surfaced in the state taking total number of active cases to 3017 with a positivity rate of 3.64%. 

Last year, in June month after Uttarakhand state forest department in an unprecedented move, issued directions to include Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) in official programmes. The opposition had lashed out at the state government over the incident.