By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 16 May: Tourism Minister Satpal Maharaj, who has returned from his Dubai tour, is now in action on receiving reports about mismanagement of the Char Dham Yatra. He today issued a statement threatening strict action against any official responsible for callousness or mismanagement during the Char Dham Yatra.
It may be recalled that the Char Dham Yatra arrangements of the state government have faced some criticism during the first week, itself. When the Yatra started, Maharaj was in Dubai to promote Uttarakhand Tourism at an International Tourism Fair being held in Dubai. He not only inaugurated the Uttarakhand pavilion but also the pavilions of Uttar Pradesh Tourism and Madhya Pradesh Tourism on that occasion.
Soon after he returned, Tourism Minister Satpal Maharaj spoke of action in the matter of non-verification after registration in the Tourist Safety Management System made for Chardham Yatra.
Pre-registration has been made mandatory for people visiting Char Dham shrines but, in reality, there are reports that verification of the registration documents is not being carried out in earnest, which has resulted in huge crowds at the Char Dham shrines despite a limit on the number of registrations per day. This has resulted in arrangements going awry. Taking cognisance of the development, the Tourism Minister claimed that action would be taken on failure to verify the registration of the pilgrims. It may be recalled that Uttarakhand Government is using the Tourist Safety Management System (TSMS) for the first time for the Char Dham Yatra to register and verify pilgrims. But, despite the long preparations, the Tourist Safety Management System has reportedly failed to function at a satisfactory level.
Preparations were supposedly made for the registration and verification of all the passengers for the Char Dham Yatra and, for this, the Tourism Department has created a Tourist Safety Management System. The responsibility for this was given to M/s Ethics Group of Companies. In this, registration for Char Dham Yatra and after that verification has to be done at various places. Under this system, the process of registration had already started before the journey. So far, 11 lakh registrations have been done for the Char Dham Yatra, but there is no official data available regarding verification, which could be an indication of the fact that it has not been carried out in earnest or that the system has failed. The Control Room of Tourist Safety Management System (TSMS) has been set up at the Uttarakhand Tourism Development Council (UTDB) Office. The responsibility has been assigned to a private company. The Control Room is supposed to be linked with every office or desk that is carrying out either the registration process or the verification process. Because the registration is mandatory, the system needs to work efficiently and smoothly, but in reality it has not failed to function effectively. The system is supposedly designed to ensure that the data of every person coming to Chardham is available to the government on real time basis. There is an immediate need to conduct a reality check on the system or an audit so that the discrepancies can be rectified at the earliest. In case of any negligence, action is also required to be taken against those responsible.
Action will be taken against mismanagement of Chardham Yatra: Maharaj
By Arun Pratap Singh