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Char Dham pilgrims without registration asked to return : Around 25 cars are Being Turned Away At Checkpoints Daily

Dehradun: Authorities in Rudraprayag, Uttarkashi, and Chamoli- the three districts in Uttarakhand that house the Char Dham shrines- are ensuring strict compliance of registration norms and are sending back pilgrims who have not registered. The Himalayan state recently put a daily cap of 42,000 pilgrims on the yatra and made registration mandatory for outsiders as well as Uttarakhand residents. The set number of pilgrims has been breached every day even after amending the initial order of 38,000 pilgrims.
Around 25 vehicles are being turned away at police checkpoints daily, officials said. On May 11, a total of 45,247 pilgrims visited Char Dham and the number rose to 53,460 the next day.
On May 13, it was 50,516; 53,403 on May 14, and 56,491 on May 15. As per the amended order, 42,000 pilgrims- 16,000 at Badrinath, 13,000 at Kedarnath, 8,000 at Gangotri, and 5,000 at Yamunotri- are allowed each day.
Chamoli Superintendent of police Shewta Choubey said, "The first check-post is at Muni-ki-Reti and then another at Rudraprayag. Every vehicle is thoroughly checked at Gauchar and Mandal as well. Those without registration are not allowed to travel further."
Choubey said that earlier the queue of vehicles used to be 3-4 km long. "Things are being managed better now and it is encouraging to witness the cooperation extended by pilgrims to police," she said. Meanwhile, those involved in the tourism industry in Uttarkashi - which houses Gangotri and Yamunotri- are unhappy with the state government's decision to turn back pilgrims. Members of the Uttarkashi Hotel Association staged a protest at Manikarnika Ghat on Monday. Shailendra Matura, president of Uttarkashi Hotel Association, said, "The yatra is the backbone of our local economy in hill districts. Last-minute rules imposed by the state have affected the turnout of pilgrims, Hoteliers and homestay owners have suffered losses."
On Sunday, the state also capped the daily limit on the number of pilgrims visiting the Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara, a revered Sikh shrine.

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