Uttarakhand will witness Haridwar Kumbh Mela for 48 days in February 2021. Usually, the festival runs for three and a half months, but due to Covid protocols in place, the Uttarakhand government has decided to cut it short. Urban Development Minister Madan Kaushik said, “The Uttarakhand government will issue the notification for the Kumbh Mela in February instead of January 1.”
He further added that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the preparations had been made for main baths in March-April. “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, preparations have been made for main baths to be held in March-April. Devotees can have the shahi snan during these 48 days,” the minister said. He further added that the duration of the festival had been reduced due to the pandemic.
Chief Minister approved funds for preparations
The chief minister of Uttarakhand, Trivendra Singh Rawat, has sanctioned funds for various projects ahead of Kumbh Mela 2021. Rs.17.34 crore has been approved for the surveillance system, of which the government has released 6.94 crores. Another 15.64 crores were approved for purchasing material for setting up a temporary 1,000 bed Covid care centre, out of which Rs. 6.18 crore will be released as the first instalment.
Railways planning to restart trains for Kumbh
The Moradabad Railway Divison has sent a proposal to the Railway Board to restart 20 trains for the passengers coming for Kumbh next year. The Railway Board is considering the request. The Railways administration is working to provide facilities to the devotees on Railway stations. The majority of the devotees will reach via Haridwar Rail Marg.
As of now, several trains are not running due to Covid-19 that includes Kumbh Express, Kochuveli Express, Okha Express, Utkal Express, Haridwar Prayag Express, Janta Express, Yoga Express, Kathdogam Express and others. The proposal sent by Moradabad Railway Board includes starting these trains before Kumbh festivities begin.