UP Government takes action to ban open-air meat selling on Kanwar Yatra roads

The government of Uttar Pradesh is taking action to ban the sale of meat in the open air along the roads set for Kanwar Yatra, which will take place after a gap of two years.

Local, district and police administration are reaching out to meat traders to make sure, officials said.

Elaborate arrangements are underway for Kanwar Yatra which is expected to start from July 14. It will continue for fifteen days. The yatra did not take place in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The “Kanwariyas”, devotees of Lord Shiva, go to the banks of the Ganges to fetch water which they carry to offer it in the temples of their domicile or locality.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in a recent meeting ordered officials to clear the roads used by the Kanwar yatris and ban the sale of meat in the open air along them, in addition to taking provisions for lighting, sanitation and first aid.

Additional Chief Secretary (Interior) Awanish Awasthi said, “Every effort is being made to ensure that Kanwar Yatra is conducted in a safe and peaceful manner across the state while adhering to the instructions given by the Chief Minister.

Bareilly Chief Superintendent of Police Satyarth Aniruddha Pankaj said: “We contacted the meat traders and asked them to ensure that no meat sales take place in the open. The traders assured us of the same.”

Bijnor Police Superintendent Dinesh Singh said he also made similar appeals to meat traders who assured that no meat sales would take place along the route taken by the Kanwariyas.

District officials across the state have started repair work on the demarcated roads for the Kanwar Yatra.

Surendra Singh, Divisional Commissioner of Meerut, who sees the maximum movement of Kanwars, said, “I recently held a meeting with District Magistrates from all districts in the division. Work to arrange for Kanwar yatra is in full swing.

“Officials are working out minor details including provisions for proper sanitation along the road, security measures and the installation of CCTV cameras at important locations,” he added.

Under the direction of the chief minister, district officials are planning to set up medical camps along the roads.

“Since the yatra has not been held for the past two years, we expect an increase in the number of Kanwar Yatris this time. Officials have been advised to keep this in mind when making arrangements,” said said Mr. Singh.

“We have also asked commercial establishments and restaurants along the routes to put up their menu with a prominent price list to avoid any arguments with Kanwar Yatris over prices,” the officer said.

According to administrative officials, thousands of devotees are crossing from Saharanpur, Shamli, Meerut, Ghaziabad and Baghpat districts in western Uttar Pradesh to reach Haridwar in Uttarakhand.

The Kanwariyas of Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Western Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan use National Highway 58 to reach Uttarakhand. The highway passes through Gautam Buddh Nagar, Ghaziabad, Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar and Meerut before reaching Haridwar via Roorkee (Uttarakhand).

Devotees from Delhi, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh also travel the route via Saharanpur, Shamli and Baghpat districts. A large number of devotees from Moradabad and Bareilly reach Haridwar via Bijnor and Amroha.

Meerut Range Police Inspector General Praveen Kumar said: “Our aim will be to provide clear routes for the Kanwar Yatra. planning senior religious leaders in the region.

The Chief Minister in his meeting also asked the officials not to harass the Kanwar yatris.

He added that no one should be allowed to show arms in the religious procession and that kanwar yatris should be allowed to play devotional songs on the music systems while keeping the volume within permitted limits.

The police administration has also identified sensitive areas where additional forces will be deployed during the yatra.

In addition, the districts of Meerut zone, Faizabad, Prayagraj, Varanasi and their adjoining districts are also seeing an influx of Kanwar yatris, mainly from eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Similar arrangements are also being made by the administration in these districts, officials said.