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Uttar Pradesh: Govt to ban sale of meat in open on Kanwar yatra routes

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government is taking steps to ban the sale of meat in the open on routes earmarked for the Kanwar Yatra to be held after a gap of two years. Officials said that the local, district and police administrations are liaising with meat traders to ensure this.

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Elaborate arrangements are being made for the Kanwar Yatra starting from July 14. This will last for a fortnight. The yatra was not organized in 2020 and 2021 due to the outbreak of COVID-19. The devotees of Lord Shiva ‘Kanwariya’ go to the banks of the river Ganges to fetch water which they take to their homes or to the temples in their localities.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, in a recent meeting, directed the officials to clean the roads taken by the Kanwar Yatris and make arrangements for lighting, sanitation and first aid, besides banning the sale of meat in the open with them. Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi said, “All efforts are being made to ensure safe and peaceful Kanwar Yatra across the state following the directions given by the Chief Minister.”

Bareilly Senior Superintendent of Police Satyarth Anirudh Pankaj said, “We have contacted meat traders and asked them to ensure that meat is not sold in the open. Traders have assured us this.” Bijnor Superintendent of Police Dinesh Singh said he has made a similar appeal to the meat traders, who have assured that there will be no sale of meat on the way to the Kanwariyas.

District officials across the state have started repairing the roads earmarked for the Kanwar Yatra. Meerut’s divisional commissioner Surendra Singh, who saw the maximum movement of Kanwars, said, ‘Recently I held a meeting with the district magistrates of all the districts of the division.

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The work of arranging the Kanwar Yatra is in full swing.” “The authorities are taking care of the smallest things including proper sanitation along the route, security arrangements and installation of CCTV cameras at important places,” he said. On the instructions of the Chief Minister, the district officials are planning to set up medical camps on the roads.

Singh said, “Since there has been no yatra in the last two years, we are expecting an increase in the number of kanwar yatris this time. The officials have been asked to keep this in mind while making arrangements.” “We have also asked the merchant establishments and eateries along the route to prominently display their menus with the rate list to avoid any argument with the Kanwar travelers over the prices,” the official said.

According to administrative officials, lakhs of pilgrims pass through Saharanpur, Shamli, Meerut, Ghaziabad and Baghpat districts of western Uttar Pradesh to reach Haridwar in Uttarakhand.From Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Western Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, Kanwaria takes National Highway 58 to reach Uttarakhand. This highway passes through Gautam Buddh Nagar, Ghaziabad, Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar and Meerut and reaches Haridwar via Roorkee (Uttarakhand).
Devotees from Delhi, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh also pass through Saharanpur, Shamli and Baghpat districts. A large number of devotees reach Haridwar from Moradabad and Bareilly via Bijnor and Amroha.

Meerut Range Inspector General of Police Praveen Kumar said, “Our aim will be to provide a clear route for the Kanwar Yatra. For this, arrangements like barricading and traffic diversion are being planned. Peace committee meetings are also being held at the police station level. Senior religious head of the region.”

In his meeting, the Chief Minister also asked the officials not to disturb the Kanwar Yatris.
He said that no one should be allowed to display weapons in a religious procession and Kanwar pilgrims should be allowed to play devotional songs on musical systems keeping the volume within permissible limits.The police administration has also identified sensitive areas where additional forces will be deployed during the yatra.

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In addition, the districts of Meerut region, Faizabad, Prayagraj, Varanasi and their neighboring districts also see an influx of Kanwar Yatris, mainly from eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Officials said similar arrangements are being made by the administration in these districts as well.

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