India's Amarnath Yatra cancelled in wake of coronavirus pandemic
A live telecast will be available for devotees.
The Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) on Tuesday said that this year's Amarnath Yatra has been cancelled due to the conditions created by Covid-19.
The decision was taken at a meeting of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) to discuss the conduct of Yatra 2020. The meeting was presided by Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu, who is chairman of SASB.
"Based upon the circumstances, the board decided with a heavy heart that it is not advisable to hold and conduct this year's Shri Amarnathji Yatra and expressed its regret to announce the cancellation of Yatra 2020. The board is aware of and respects the sentiments of millions of devotees and to keep the religious sentiments alive, the board shall continue the live telecast/ virtual darshan of the morning and evening aarti," said a release by Raj Bhavan.
It said the traditional rituals shall be carried out as per past practice.
According to the release, the board was informed that the arrangements were on track since February 2020, but due to the nationwide lockdown and the pandemic, State Executive Committee, J&K has still continued to keep religious places and places of worship closed for the public. These prohibitions continue till July 31.
"The board further discussed that pandemic has put the health administration system to its limit. The spike has been particularly very sharp in July. Health workers and security forces are also getting infected and the focus of entire Medical, Civil and Police Administration at the moment is on containing the local transmission of the Covid-19 pandemic.
"The health concerns are so serious that the strain on the health system, along with the diversion in resources to the Yatra, will be immense. This would also unnecessarily put the Yatris at risk of catching the Covid-19," the release said.
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