On Friday, the Indo-Tibetan Border Force (ITBP) was deployed to manage crowds at Kedarnath Temple, one of the Char Dhams in Uttarakhand.
There have been 28 deaths of tourists en route to Kedarnath since the yatra began. On Thursday, the state government called a meeting to discuss the large number of tourists visiting the state for the yatra. A crowd management system was decided to be deployed at Kedarnath.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) will also assist temples in handling the huge crowds. Vivek Kumar Pandey, spokesperson of the ITBP said that the force has been deployed for security and streamlining darshan at Kedarnath Temple after the influx of pilgrims.
“ITBP has been managing the heavy rush to Kedarnath temple and the Kedarnath valley,” he said.Pandey said that over 20,000 pilgrims visit the temple daily and due to the pilgrims’ rush places such as Sonprayag, Ukhimath and Kedarnath are crowded.
He said the ITBP teams at these locations are closely monitoring the movement of the pilgrims. “It has been a week since the portals of the temple were opened on May 6, 2022, and more than 1,30,000 pilgrims have visited the temple to date,” Pandey said. ITBP has also alerted its disaster management team to the incident.
A medical team equipped with oxygen cylinders has been deployed at various locations, and drills for medical emergencies and evacuations on demand are being conducted with the assistance of the state administration. ITBP teams have also been assisting the temple and civil administration at Badrinath Temple to manage the crowds and conduct darshan smoothly.
Since the COVID restrictions were lifted two years ago, the Char Dham Yatra has witnessed an unusual rush of pilgrims this year.