The world's most largest religious gathering Kumbh Mela, that is held every 12 years in rotation at four holy places- Haridwar, Allahabad, Ujjain and Nasik, is being held after only 11 years this time. The Kumbh Mela is being held in Haridwar this year. It had begun on 14th January 2021, while the first Shahi Snan took place on March 11 on Maha Shivaratri. Being held amidst of pandemic, Haridwar has become a centre of mass gathering, due to which every other day, more than 20 new cases are being registered. Despite every precautions taken by the government officials , the cases are increasing day by day not only in Haridwar, but in other places near Haridwar as well.
Also, many people in Kumbh Mela have been seen without wearing mask and exercising social distancing. The street markets near “Har ki Pauri” ghaat are overcrowded with people.
The major problem that the officials are facing as said by I.G S.K Gunjyal is stampede. The officials are worried about the fact that controlling such vast amount of people is very challenging. Every day and on every Shahi Snan there is a chance of stampede occuring at the ghaats. And with what speed the cases are occurring there is a possibility of the contingency of the second strain of corona virus that is more fatal than the first strain.
The fear of corona has not let the faith of the people lessen in any way. Thousands of people are coming to offer their prayers and bath in the holy river Ganga each day. It is almost after a century that Kumbh is being held after 11 years only and as said by the Shastra in Hindu religion and also when we see the history every Kumbh that has occurred after 11 yrs has come out to be disastrous.
The CM of Uttarakhand had announced recently that there is no need of Corona report for coming in ghaats. This has posed a challenge for the police and other officials. There are constant meetings being held to look for every possible measures they can impose to ensure the safety of the people attending kumbh.