The chief minister of Uttarakhand, Harish Rawat has come out with a statement that the Chardham yatra 2015 remains unaffected by the recent earthquake and it is absolutely safe to make the pilgrimage. His message is intended to assuage hundreds of thousands of the anxious pilgrims who are unsure about the status of the yatra. The yatra routes will remain open for the public and also there is no obstruction caused along any routes by the quake and its aftershocks, he informed.
The chief minister was on a visit to Bardinath Temple where he was attending a ceremony to officially open the doors of the temple to the public. He said that the pilgrimage is unaffected and pilgrims can carry on with their yatras normally.
The chief minister acknowledged the pilgrimage is no less a heritage for the people of India with the faith of millions of Hindus linked to it. He promised that his government would do all that is possible to make it more convenient and better for the pilgrims who travel from far flung areas of the country; many even make the journey from abroad.
While speaking of the spike in the number of pilgrims this year, the chief minister said that it is an encouraging sign and would encourage everyone involved in making the yatra a success.
He said that his government taking all the necessary steps to deliver top-notch arrangements. While accepting that the stretch from Pandukeshwar to Badrinath is not the easiest, he expressed hope that it is not an insurmountable obstacle that the pilgrims can’t overcome. He also drew attention to the fact that he has assigned his highest officials to look after the safety of the pilgrims.
Before he officially opened the doors, the chief minister took part in an early morning ritual with thousands of other devotees. The minister also took pains to meet with devotes from both India and abroad and listened to their grievances and suggestions.
The chief minister also asked all his district officials to send him detailed reports of any damage that may have been caused by the recent earthquake that had its epicenter in Nepal; he asked everyone to stay vigilant in case an earthquake strikes again. He also didn’t forget to express his condolences to those who lost their lives in Nepal and also in India, and prayed for the injured.