Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Uttarakhand government has decided to limit the Kumbh this year for 30 days, Chief Secretary Om Prakash said on Thursday.
The government will issue the notice by the end of March stating that this time Kumbh will be held from April 1 to April 30. The decision is taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection, he added.
The state government has also emphasised reducing the duration of Kumbh as they fear becoming a hot spot of the virus.
Earlier, the Haridwar District Magistrate C Ravishankar said that pilgrims will need passes to attend Kumbh.
“Pilgrims will need passes for Kumbh and the passes will be issued only after submission of a negative RT-PCR test report, medical certificate, and identification proof. Those without passes will be denied entry,” said Ravishankar.
He also informed that the district administration has demanded 70,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines for the personnel posted on duty to ensure their safety.
The Kumbh administration has also put cameras at the Ganga Ghats to monitor the crowd.
Haridwar has been turned into a hub of mythology-themed colourful wall graffiti to make devotees and tourists aware of its significance in the ongoing Maha Kumbh Mela, under the campaign called “Paint My City”, run by the Haridwar-Roorkee Development Authority.
Describing Kumbh as a festival of colours, Mela Deputy Officer Harbir Singh said that graffiti depicting Hindu mythology and Uttarakhand culture has been installed across walls, bridges, Government buildings, and other spaces available in Haridwar.
The Maha Kumbh is celebrated in a cycle of 12 years at four river-bank pilgrimage sites across India. The fair will conclude in the last week of April.