By LE Desk

Dehradun, April 29: The Uttarakhand High Court has pulled up the state government over its management of the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar amid a raging pandemic. While hearing a number of PILs in this regard, the bench of Chief Justice RS Chauhan and Justice Alok Kumar made verbal observations in this regard.

Questioning the Uttarakhand government’s decision to continue with the ‘Char Dham yatra’ despite the surge in Covid-19 cases, the high court yesterday said pilgrimage during this time is a ‘frightening one’, India Today reported.

In response, the state government stuck to its stock answer that it is in the process of framing rules and procedures to ensure smooth conduct of the ‘Char Dham yatra’.

Today, the state government decided to suspend the ‘Char Dham yatra’.

Referring to the present situation in Uttarakhand, the HC advised the state government to increase the number of cremation grounds and ensure that no one is inconvenienced.

Check the exorbitant prices charged by ambulances for ferrying patients, the court instructed district magistrates. Strict action will be taken if orders are not followed, it added.

“The High Court has directed hospitals to strictly adhere to the SOPs for discharging Covid-positive patients. The state has also been asked to consider employing dental surgeons in Covid Care Centres to supplement MBBS doctors,” said Shiv Bhatt, the counsel appearing for one of the petitioners.

In addition, the Uttarakhand HC also recommended to the state a different mode for registration for vaccinations. This was owing to the non-availability of internet connection in remote parts of the state.

Amit Singh, Secretary of Health (Uttarakhand), has been asked to submit a report to the court in this regard by May 7. The report will carry details of the ongoing situation and measures taken by the state government to contain the spread of coronavirus.

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