Tourism 2020 – A year of commotion

Published on : Thursday, December 31, 2020

The tourism sector went out of control and loads of migrants returned home as the deadly virus cast its dark shadow on India like many others and hit the economy of Uttarakhand in a hard way in 2020.

Also, it was the year when Gairsain in Chamoli district was named as the state’s summer capital, formally. Environmentalists criticized a measure of the state government to alert the Shivalik Elephant Reserve. The Supreme Court kept its watchful eye on the Chardham road project and a ruling BJP MLA with a rape charge.

The state made a staggered exit from the pandemic lockdown, however, the tourists are not yet returning in huge numbers. The migrants, who left for work to other cities, have returned.

In Uttarakhand, the number of coronavirus cases has remained quite less relatively for some months with a few hill districts not reporting a single case of virus infection, now showed a rise in numbers. For it, many are blaming the returning of the migrants.

The state government had to send special trains to bring the migrant back. Several Rishikesh hotels were converted into quarantine centres.
The state’s biggest revenue-spinner, the Chardham Yatra, couldn’t start on time as thousands were hit.

To the devotees on late July 2020, famous Himalayan temples were opened against the wishes of the priests, who resisted it, fearing a spread of the infection.

On the number of pilgrims visiting Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri – the ‘char dhams’, A daily limit was put to avoid crowding. Visitors were told to produce a negative report of coronavirus test on arrival. During the yatra season, the tourist footfall was just about three lakh, less than a tenth of the previous year’s turnout.

The annual Kanwar Yatra in Haridwar was also cancelled. So were the holy baths on the banks of the Ganga on occasions like Somvati Amavasya.

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