Amid growing crowds at the Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand, no pilgrim will be allowed at any of the four shrines– Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamnotri and Gangotri — without registration from Wednesday, according to Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami’s orders.

Any pilgrim who wishes to visit shrines will have to register at the state tourism department’s website or offline at a police post falling en route. This norm was already into force, but many were flouting it.

“It pains me if any pilgrim faces problems (owing to huge numbers),” said Dhami, adding, “We are increasing the limit for pilgrims by 1,000.”

The CM was referring to the government’s cap on the maximum number of pilgrims allowed at the four shrines, which was announced earlier, but not implemented.

With the increase in limit, 13,000 pilgrims will be allowed daily at Kedarnath, 16,000 at Badrinath, 8,000 at Yamnotri and 5,000 at the Gangotri shrine.

Official say the crowd management plan will be observed for 45 days. The tourist and pilgrim season in Uttarakhand reaches its peak during May-June and goes down with the beginning of monsoon around the third week of June.

PMO SEEKS REPORT ON DEATHS

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has sought a report from the state machinery on the deaths of 20 pilgrims in a week. Most pilgrims died on the harsh Yamnotri route owing to cardiac issues. Besides, pilgrims also died at Kedarnath and Badrinath due to dip in oxygen levels.

ALSO READ | Pilgrims Rush to Char Dham in Uttarakhand after 2 Years: Locals Thank God, Crowd Leaves Admin Praying

Health Minister Dhan Singh Rawat told News18 on Wednesday that his department has been doing its best to provide facilities along the Char Dham route.

“The district administrations concerned should take the responsibility as they are the ones managing the pilgrimage. We provide the additional help needed to strengthen the facilities,” he said.

The health department has issued an advisory for the pilgrims visiting Uttarakhand. The advisory has asked those with comorbidities and high blood pressure to watch out for their health before scaling the mountains.

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