NEW DELHI, INDIA, May 26, 2024 (Indian Express): With a large number of pilgrims visiting the Kedarnath Temple in Uttarakhand, a video of chaos near the Sitapur area is doing rounds on the Internet. In view of the crowd, offline registration for the Char Dham Yatra has been paused till May 31. The now-viral video shows over a thousand pilgrims stuck in heavy traffic in the Sitapur area, most of them on foot. The video shows vans stuck in a narrow lane. A man can be heard saying, “If you want to come to Kedarnath, please watch this video. This is only Sitapur, which is 25 miles from Kedarnath. The place is crowded and management is not making any arrangements to clear the crowd.”

The video amassed over 269,000 views, raising concerns about the safety of the pilgrims. According to the Uttarakhand government’s official statement, two Yatra Magistrates––Ashok Kumar Pandey and Pankaj Kumar Upadhyay––have been deployed to manage the crowd at Badrinath and Kedarnath temples respectively from May 26 to June 6, said an ANI report. They will be responsible for ensuring arrangements for the smooth conduct of the Yatra.