By OUR STAFF REPORTER
DEHRADUN, 27 Sep: All the markets of Kedar Ghati remained closed today in protest against the limited number of visitors and the mandatory requirement of e-passes in order to undertake the Char Dham Yatra. The traders linked with the Char Dham Yatra also held protests in Sonprayag. The protests were led by the Hoteliers’ Association and supported by all traders’ organisations. The traders are demanding that the e-pass system be done away with immediately. According to them, a large number of pilgrims are not able to come to the Char Dham shrines because of mandatory requirement of e-passes for the Yatra. This condition has angered traders along all the Char Dham routes. In Uttarkashi, on World Tourism Day, a demonstration was held at the gates of the District Tourism Development Office and District Collectorate. During the protests, a demand was raised to organise the yatra by lifting the restrictions regarding the number of pilgrims. In Barkot, the main stop over for Yamunotri, also, the District Tourism Development Office and District Collectorate. During the protests, a demand was raised to organise the yatra by lifting the restrictions regarding the number of pilgrims. In Barkot, the main stop over for Yamunotri, also, the traders took out a procession and held demonstrations at the Tehsil Headquarters to eliminate the compulsion of the number of passengers and to do away with the requirement of e-pass for travel to Char Dham sites. It may be recalled that the government is under a lot of pressure to at least raise the number of pilgrims permitted per day but the numbers have actually been restricted by the Uttarakhand High Court. In this connection, the CM has indicated that the government will approach the High Court asking the Court to raise the numbers of the pilgrims per day as many pilgrims are returning without obtaining darshan at the Char Dham shrines. A petition in this regard is likely to be filed this week, sources indicate. There has been a demand from the Teerth Purohits of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri Dham to do away with the mandatory registration for local people for the Char Dham Yatra. In order to follow the Covid protocol, the government had fixed the number of pilgrims to the four Dhams on a daily basis on the directions of the court. The maximum number of passengers (per day) is fixed at 1,000 in Badrinath, 800 in Kedarnath, 600 in Gangotri and 400 in Yamunotri Dham. Epasses are being issued for darshan on the basis of the numbers fixed by the Devasthanam Board.