Dehradun: Major ghats of the River Ganga in Haridwar and Rishikesh wore a deserted look on the occasion of Makar Sankranti on Friday with a ban on ritual bathing in the river owing to a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Har ki Pauri Ghat in Haridwar and Triveni Ghat in Rishikesh, which generally receive lakhs of devotees from Uttarakhand and the neighboring states on the auspicious occasion, were completely sealed even as police personnel stood guard to ensure that the ban was effective. Patrolling and checking along Haridwar’s borders were intensified so that people unaware of the ban did not enter the Har ki Pairi area for a bath, a police official in Haridwar said.
People proceeding for a holy dip in the Ganga due to lack of information about the ban were convinced and made to return from the borders, he said. Haridwar District Magistrate Vinay Shankar Pandey and his Dehradun counterpart R Rajesh Kumar had announced a ban on ritual bathing in River Ganga on Makar Sankranti a few days ago to check the spread of the virus.
Though some crowd was seen on Subhash Ghat, a short distance away from Har ki Pairi, Superintendent of Police (City) Swatantra Kumar said they had arrived for immersing ashes of their deceased kin as the ghat is reserved for the purpose.