By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 5 Oct: Following his return to Dehradun after inspecting the reconstruction works at Kedarnath, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami held a press conference at his official residence, here, this afternoon. Dhami welcomed the Uttarakhand High Court raising the upper limit on the number of pilgrims allowed to visit Char Dham every day.
He, however, appealed to the people coming for Char Dham pilgrimage to strictly adhere to the SOPs issued in view of the Covid pandemic. The CM said that the pilgrims coming for the Yatra ought to bring all the necessary documents, Covid-19 negative test reports and vaccination certificates with them.
Observing that the High Court had raised the upper limit on the number of pilgrims every day for the Char Dham Yatra, he added that it was the endeavour of the government to ensure the yatra continued smoothly, but the safety of the pilgrims would not be compromised. He asserted that the Yatra would be completed strictly under Covid guidelines during the current season.
Dhami added that whatever problems had been reported regarding the yatra would be taken care of soon, as he had issued instructions in this regard.
Providing information about the reconstruction work on Kedarnath Dham, Chief Minister Dhami said that, by 30 October, work on the Samadhi of Adi Shankaracharya would be completed.
He added that works worth Rs 409 crores had been approved for Kedarnath Dham, out of which works costing around Rs 225 crores had already been completed. The remaining works were under various stages of construction. Additionally, fresh works of around Rs 245 crores had been proposed for Badrinath Dham. Dhami reminded that works worth Rs 708 crores were in progress and proposed for the reconstruction and beautification of the Char Dhams. He added that an amount of Rs 708 crores would be spent on the reconstruction of the four Dhams.
In response to a question asked regarding invoking of the National Security Act in the state, Dhami asserted that he would do whatever was necessary to ensure maintenance of law and order. He added that the government would still try to resolve all the issues by holding talks with the people concerned but would not hesitate to adopt strict measures if the talks failed or if strict measures were considered necessary at any stage.
In response to a question regarding allegations levelled by former CM and veteran Congress leader Harish Rawat, he said that Rawat was preoccupied with raising questions about everything, but it would be better if he had any suggestions to offer.
The CM reminded that the new terminal building at Jolly Grant Airport had been completed. Now, preparations were underway for its inauguration. The new terminal building, built at a cost of about Rs 353 crores, would attract air travellers in larger number.
The new building could be inaugurated on 8 October.
According to sources, if time is given from the Prime Minister’s Office for this, the building would be inaugurated on the day he comes. In the absence of this, the inauguration is expected to be done on 8 October.
By Arun Pratap Singh