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Tour operators: Scrap registration for Char Dham pilgrims

Haridwar: In the wake of a heavy pilgrim rush at the four revered Himalayan shrines, several pilgrims, who are unable to get a registration slot, are stuck in Haridwar and Rishikesh. Some are even using forged registration documents to get to the shrine. In view of this, tour operators have urged the Uttarakhand government to do away with the mandatory norm of producing a registration certificate to visit the Char Dham shrines.
Sanjay Sharma, a Haridwar-based tour operator, said, "The provision of mandatory registration certificate should be abolished immediately. There is only one registration office in Haridwar and that is also not working properly. Consequently, all pilgrims are forced to go to Rishikesh for offline registration. Pilgrims who booked tourist vehicles one month in advance are now stuck in Haridwar as they are not able to secure the registration certificate. Several pilgrims ask tour operators to bear the loss. This is not justified."
had on Tuesday reported that several pilgrims were duped in the name of Char Dham registration in Rishikesh. So far, four such cases have surfaced from Uttarakhand. On the other hand, pilgrims from several states, who have been awaiting their registration certificates, say they are facing economic losses and mental harassment due to the mandatory provision. Prakash Kumar, a pilgrims from Akola Maharashtra who is stuck in Haridwar, told."We have been trying to get a registration certificate for the past five days but failed several times."

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