Uttarakhand relaxes norms, no restriction on number of visitors

Devprayag, Uttarakhand

New Delhi (NVI): The Uttarakhand government has relaxed norms to visit the state as the country enters Unlock 4.0, in an effort to boost tourism which is a major source of revenue in the state.

The state has tourism as one of its core industries, which has suffered massive losses as tourism was shut down due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Now, as the country has entered Unlock 4.0, the state government is keen to attract tourists once again.

The major curbs that will no longer be in place for those intending to visit Uttarakhand is restriction on number of visitors per day. Earlier, the state allowed only 2,000 visitors a day from outside the state and e-permits were also required for the same.

Other relaxations were granted in terms of ICMR recognized COVID-19 negative report and making ‘Truenat’ tests acceptable.

State Cabinet Minister Madan Kaushik said, “The visitors have to register themselves on a state government smart city portal smartcitydehradun.uk.gov.in and produce COVID-19 negative report ranging in the last 72-hours.”

Moreover, there shall be no restriction on inter-state or intrastate movement of people and goods, a letter from secretary of disaster management SA Murugesan stated.

This move comes after demands of relaxations by tourism sector which forms backbone of the economy of the Himalayan state, especially religious tourism has been hit hard with thousands left struggling for ends to meet.

As religious tourism has got hit badly in Uttarakhand due to coronavirus induced lockdown, priests are opting for odd jobs including factory workers. They were earning between Rs 8,000-12,000 per month by working in factories.

This year, the state government had also cancelled Kanwar Yatra in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic which hit religious tourism in Haridwar the hardest after Char Dham Yatra. However, the Char Dham Yatra was allowed from June for state residents and later for residents of other states too since last month giving some respite to the sector.

Last year, more than 3.5 crore devotees visited Haridwar through the yatra in the auspicious month.

-RJV