New Delhi: After an unprecedented number of devotees turned up at the Kedarnath Temple, one of the Char Dhams in Uttarakhand, the Indo-Tibetan Border Force (ITBP) was deployed today for crowd management. Since the yatra began, as many as 28 tourists en route to Kedarnath have died due to various reasons.
Yesterday, a meeting of the Uttrakhand State government was called over the huge influx of tourists visiting the state for the yatra. It was decided to deploy the ITBP at the Kedarnath for crowd management. National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) will also assist temples in handling the crowds.
Vivek Kumar Pandey, Spokesperson of the ITBP said that the force has been deployed for security and streamlining darshan at Kedarnath Temple after a huge influx of pilgrims. “ITBP has been managing the heavy rush to the Kedarnath temple and the Kedarnath valley,” he said.
Mr Pandey further said that more than 20,000 devotees are visiting the temple daily and due to the pilgrims’ rush places such as Sonprayag, Ukhimath and Kedarnath are packed.
The ITBP teams, deployed at these locations, are keeping a close eye on the movement of the yatris, he said. “It’s been a week since the portals of the temple were opened on May 6, 2022, and more than 1,30,000 pilgrims have so far visited the Kedarnath Temple,” Mr Pandey added.
The ITBP has also alerted its disaster management teams in the area. Medical teams with oxygen cylinders have been deployed at places and with the help of state administration, drills for medical emergencies and evacuation on requirements are being undertaken.
At Badrinath Temple also, ITBP teams have been helping the temple and civil administration for smooth conduct of darshan and management of the rush of the pilgrims.
The Char Dham Yatra this year has been witnessing an unusual rush of pilgrims as it has been opened after two years after the lifting of COVID restrictions.