Dehradun: After an unprecedented number of devotees turned up at the Kedarnath Temple, one of the Char Dhams in Uttarakhand, the Indo-Tibetan Border Force (ITBP) was deployed for crowd management on Friday.

Since the yatra began, as many as 28 tourists en route to Kedarnath have died due to various reasons.

On Thursday, a meeting of the Uttarakhand State government was called over the huge influx of tourists visiting the state for the yatra.

It was decided to deploy the ITBP at the Kedarnath for crowd management. National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) will also assist temples in handling the crowds. Vivek Kumar Pandey, spokesperson of the ITBP said that the force has been deployed for security and streamlining darshan at Kedarnath Temple after a huge influx of pilgrims.

"ITBP has been managing the heavy rush to the Kedarnath temple and the Kedarnath valley," he said.

Pandey further said that more than 20,000 devotees are visiting the temple daily and due to the pilgrims' rush places such as Sonprayag, Ukhimath and Kedarnath are packed.

The ITBP teams, deployed at these locations, are keeping a close eye on the movement of the yatris, he said.

"It's been a week since the portals of the temple were opened on May 6, 2022, and more than 1,30,000 pilgrims have so far visited the Kedarnath Temple," Pandey added.

The ITBP has also alerted its disaster management teams in the area. Medical teams with oxygen cylinders have been deployed at places and with the help of state administration, drills for medical emergencies and evacuation on requirements are being undertaken.

At Badrinath Temple also, ITBP teams have been helping the temple and civil administration for smooth conduct of darshan and management of the rush of the pilgrims. The Char Dham Yatra this year has been witnessing an unusual rush of pilgrims as it has been opened after two years after the lifting of COVID restrictions.  

 The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) has been deployed on Kedarnath temple premises for security and crowd management following heavy influx of pilgrims.

The ITBP teams at various locations are maintaining a close vigil on the movement of the yatris from security point of view on the request of the district administrations.

More than 20,000 devotees are visiting the temple. Besides, places such as Sonprayag, Ukhimath and Kedarnath are bursting with devotees. Being the first responder in the Himalayan region, the Force has deployed its security personnel along the route to the Kedar valley and on the temple premises on the request of the district administration, the ITBP PRO Vivek Pandey said.

Apart from security, crowd management becomes an important task when the influx of the pilgrims is so huge, he added.

The Himalayan border guarding force has also deployed its disaster management teams in the area along with medical teams with oxygen cylinders. With the help of state administration, drills of medical emergencies and evacuation on requirements are being undertaken, Pandey added.

There have been some incidents of stampedes at religious places in the past and it has been noticed that a large number of pilgrims have been visiting religious places after Covid- induced lockdown almost after two years, the officials in the local civil administration said.

The Kedarnath temple was opened on May 6 and till now more than one 1.30 lakh pilgrims have already visited the Kedarnath temple so far. At Badrinath temple also, the ITBP teams have been helping the temple and civil administration for smooth conduct of 'darshan' and management of the rush of the pilgrims.

The Char Dham Yatra this year has been witnessing unprecedented rush of pilgrims as it has been opened after two years of Covid restrictions. —ANI/IANS



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