THD NewsDesk, New Delhi: In yet another controversial statement Uttarakhand CM Tirath Singh Rawat said that the ongoing Kumbh Mela should not be compared with the Nizamuddin Markaz which was held last year in Delhi.
“The Markaz was held in a closed space, in a Kothi like structure whereas the Kumbh is being held on the sprawling ghats of Ganga. There is no comparison between the two religious events,” he said.
During a weekly talk show organized by The Hindustan Times, Rawat made the claim that ‘The flow and blessings of Ma Ganga will ensure that coronavirus does not spread.’ This comment was made by the CM when Haridwar reported 1002 Covid-19 cases in the last two days.
In his attempt to justify the Kumbh he went on to say that there wasn’t much awareness on Coronavirus nor were there any guidelines in place when the Markaz took place last year. Now there is more awareness and guidelines in place to ensure safety.’
The Chief Minister made these claims when he was asked as to why the two religious events shouldn’t be compared, during the show. He further said that “the people attending Kumbh are our own people and not from outside of India. Whereas during Markaz nobody knew for how many days they stayed inside the confines of the structure.”
While the arrangements are made to test the pilgrims visiting Kumbh and SOPs in place to ensure safety and sanitization, only 18,169 of the pilgrims were reportedly tested at the Mela between 11.30 pm on Sunday and 5 pm on Monday.
As Kumbh Mela is preparing for the ‘Shahi-Snan’ on Wednesday, the number of pilgrims is expected to rise again. Stating while ‘the health of the public is of utmost priority, Kumbh is a matter of faith and sentiments of people which cannot be ignored.’
With 1925 Covid-19 cases in one day, Uttarakhand saw the highest number this year and India on Wednesday reported 1,84,372 new Covid-19 infections – the highest single-day rise in cases since the pandemic broke out in January 2020.