The ongoing Coronavirus scare has affected the Maha Kumbh Mela preparations, which is considered to be one of the largest congregations in the history of mankind. The temple town of Uttarakhand is set to host the Kumbh Mela on March 11, 2021.
Due to the lockdown imposed by the Uttarakhand state government on Sunday to contain the spread of Coronavirus, organisers and workers are unable to carry out the preparations for the Kumbh.
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 relevant 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.
Earlier in January, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had also stated that organising the divine and grand Kumbh was not possible without cleaning of river Ganga. Uttarakhand has so far reported 3 positive Coronavirus cases. The total number of positive COVID-19 cases soared up to 477 on Monday. The death toll from the deadly virus also reached 8.
The Kumbh Mela is organized every 12 years- each time at one of the four places in the country- Allahabad, Haridwar, Nashik, Ujjain. According to the 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. Billions of devotees, from all over the country and abroad, gather at these places during the Kumbh, to take dips of salvation.
(With inputs from ANI)