Coronavirus scare has singed preparations for Maha Kumbh Mela, one of the largest congregations in the history of mankind.
This temple town of Uttarakhand is set to host the Kumbh Mela next year starting March 11.
Kumbh is held after every 12 years- each time at one of the four places in the country- Allahabad, Haridwar, Nashik, Ujjain.
As per Indian mythology, it is at these four places that the drops of elixir, overflowing from the pot of nectar, which had emerged from the Churning of the Ocean by the gods and the demons, got mixed with water of the rivers, thus sanctifying the streams of water there.
Crores of devotees, from all over the country and abroad, gather at these places during the Kumbh, to take dips of salvation.
But this year, due to the lockdown imposed by the Uttarakhand state government in a bid to contain the deadly bug, workers are unable to carry forward the preparations.
On Sunday, the Uttarakhand government announced lockdown in the state in the wake of coronavirus scare.
During the meeting, it was decided that the interstate buses and public transport services in the state will also remain prohibited. However, the essential services will remain operational.
The official also said that the government will deposit Rs 1,000 in the bank accounts of the registered labourers.
The Kumbh Mela administration, therefore, has asked the Uttar Pradesh government for a 10-day closure of the Ganga Canal, from March 22 to April 2, during which various works of the Mela will be expedited.
It is pertinent to mention here that there is an annual closure of Gangnahar from Dussehra to Deepawali every year in Haridwar. During this time the work of maintenance of canals, dams and desilting work in the Ganga is undertaken by the Uttar Pradesh Irrigation department.
In January, this year, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had also highlighted that divine and grand Kumbh was not possible without the cleanliness of river Ganga.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)