Home Uttarakhand Health Secy directs officials to ensure pilgrims are not overcharged for food

Health Secy directs officials to ensure pilgrims are not overcharged for food

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By Our Staff Reporter

Rudraprayag, 21 May: Secretary, Health, in charge of the Yatra in Kedarnath, Dr R Rajesh Kumar reviewed the Yatra arrangements here, today, and the amenities being provided to the pilgrims. Dr Kumar inspected the Yatra arrangements in the district along with the officials concerned and took stock of the arrangements to ensure a smooth and organised Yatra for the pilgrims. He said that the aim of the state government is that all the basic facilities should be available to the devotees. He reminded the officials that the Chief Minister is continuously reviewing the Yatra arrangements with an aim to ensure that the Chardham journey for the coming devotees is smooth and auspicious. The pilgrims should return home with a pleasant experience from Uttarakhand.

He said that the purpose of his visit is to see any shortcomings in the arrangements at the district level so that the government can be made aware of them, and immediate corrective steps can be taken. While inspecting various Yatra stops beginning from Sirohbagar till Sonprayag by road, he instructed the National Highway Authority (NHAI) to ensure the availability of JCB machines in areas that are landslide prone.

He observed that the parking arrangements are being properly managed by the district administration, but due to the continuous arrival of a large number of devotees, traffic jams are being reported at many places. For this, he said that the Kedarnath Yatra stops have been set up at places like Sitapur, Sonprayag, etc. When the parking is full, the traffic should be stopped further behind so that there is no jam.

While reviewing the facilities and arrangements being provided by various departments for the Kedarnath Dham Yatra, he directed officers to maintain standards. Dr Kumar instructed the Designated Food Safety Officer to ensure that the shops, restaurants and dhabas do not overcharge the pilgrims coming to visit Kedarnath Dham and to ensure that rate list is mandatorily pasted at all these places. Along with this, special attention should be paid to the quality of food items and for this, continuous inspections must be carried out. He also instructed the officials to keep special vigil on the horses and mules plying on the yatra route. He has instructed the officials of the Animal Husbandry Department to ensure that there is no animal cruelty in any way towards any horse or mule. They should not be made to undertake double trips. Cleanliness and sanitation is to be maintained all along the Yatra route to Kedarnath Dham. The toilets should also be regularly cleaned. Drinking water supply and regular maintenance of the systems are also to be done. He gave instructions to the electricity department that, in case of interruption of power supply, any fault that occurs on the power line should be immediately repaired and supply should be restored at the earliest. He instructed the Nodal Officer, Heli Services, to keep a strict vigil to ensure that there is no fraud with any passenger. Overcharging from the devotees is not to be allowed.

While reviewing the travel arrangements, the Secretary appreciated the preparations made by the district administration and related departments. Dr Kumar observed that the arrangements are satisfactory, but it is a challenge to further strengthen the arrangements and facilities for the devotees coming in large numbers, for which all the officers should work with mutual coordination.