Char Dham Deaths: U’khand Panel Recommends Cap On Pilgrims’ Numbers

| Updated: 10 June, 2022 8:34 pm IST
More than 18.25 lakh pilgrims visited the Char Dham till June 9

DEHRADUN: After an unprecedented number of deaths on the Char Dham Yatra route, the advisory committee on health matters has recommended capping the number of visitors to Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri.

The state health department sources told The New Indian that a total of 150 pilgrims have died at the Char Dham Yatra route since it started on May 3. Of the total, 68 lost their lives in Kedarnath, 36 in Yamunotri, 34 in Badrinath and 12 in Gangotri. More than 18.25 lakh pilgrims visited the Char Dham till June 9.

Dr Hem Chandra, chairman of the committee of health-related matters which advises the state government, told The New Indian, “The team will visit soon in Kedarnath to take stock of the situation on the ground. We have also given some recommendations to the state government to be the dissemination of information through various mediums including the mass media.”

The committee in its seven-point recommendation asserted a controlled flow of pilgrims and the capping of the number of visitors to the Char Dham shrines. The committee recommended acclimatization of at least 48-hours along the lines of the Amarnath Yatra.

The committee recommended health screening of the people with comorbidities, the elderly and pilgrims with previous COVID-19 history. It suggested the prohibition of people with diseases like sickle cell disease, severe lung as well as heart-related ailments.

The committee also suggested awareness programmes apprising the public about the high altitude problems.

The committee, after holding a meeting earlier this week, added that a rapid ascent of more than 2,500 meters in a few hours from low-altitude areas is another important cause of death. The report submitted to the state government pointed out that ‘acute mountain sickness’ is not known to cause sudden deaths.

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