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Wednesday, 14 October, 2020, 17 : 45 PM [IST]

Uttarakhand hoping to revive tourism with Kumbh Mela in 2021

For years, Uttarakhand’s economy has thrived on religious tourism, which has now become the state’s backbone also. However, as the lockdown was imposed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the tourism sector in the state was jolted. Looks like the Kumbh mela will invite many visitors to the state next year. With the Coronavirus outbreak, many people resisted travelling whereas the annual pilgrimage of Char Dham Yatra too resumed with many restrictions. The impact was such that the government announced suspension in the Kanwar Yatra as well that takes place every year during July and takes thousands of people to Uttarakhand. Now all eyes are set on the Kumbh Mela 2021. 

According to Seema Nautiyal, Haridwar District Tourism Officer, the Kumbh Mela expected to be organised early next year is likely to be a hope of revival for people affiliated with tourism in the state, the IE reported.

Seema Nautiyal said that there are more than 800 hotels and 350 ashrams in Haridwar that are preparing to accommodate an average 1.25 lakh pilgrims in a day during the Kumbh Mela. If the pandemic did not break out, the estimated arrival of pilgrims for the Kumbh Mela was 10 crore however, the restrictions imposed in order to make sure that social distancing is followed, the number of pilgrims that can be there for the Kumbh Mela has come down.

During the religious congregation, the people who will be a part of hospitality, tourism and civil supply will get business. The Mela has been given an area of 156-sq km in three districts of Haridwar, Dehradun and Pauri Garhwal. The report highlighted that hundreds of labourers have started working on laying down infrastructure across Haridwar in order to give a facelift to the area. As many as 51 construction projects (permanent ones) are currently under progress for the area allocated for mela. While some projects had started in August last year, the majority of them began in January this year. However, they were halted for a few weeks owing to the novel coronavirus outbreak and after first unlock, these projects resumed, the report noted. Under the project new bridges, roads, paths, will be constructed and fire stations, police barracks, bus stations along with various ghats will be upgraded.

It is to note that for Hindus across the country, Kumbh is one of the most sacred pilgrimages. It takes place after every 12 years. Last Kumbh Mela took place in 2010 but this time, it is being organised a year earlier that is in 2021 due to an auspicious date. Meanwhile, this Kumbh is expected to be a bit challenging when compared to the previous ones. Crowds will have to be managed in a way that the risk of COVID-19 transmission is minimum. Further, each pilgrim will be given a specific time and place to perform the rituals. The report said that crowds capacity will be accessed and managed at all times.

(Source: Financial Express)

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