Kumbh Mela will be held in Haridwar despite challenges due to the ongoing pandemic, said Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat. Haridwar will host Kumbh Mela 2021 in its “divine form”, said the CM. In a meeting held with office-bearers of the Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad (ABAP), Rawat discussed preparations for the Mela, scheduled to start on January 14.

“The extent of the Kumbh Mela will depend on the status of the COVID-19 at that time. The suggestions of the ABAP and the religious fraternity will also be taken in the decisions, which will be taken according to the prevailing situation. The efforts of the state government will be aimed at ensuring that the devotees do not face any inconvenience,” said the CM.

He also emphasised that the preparations are being reviewed regularly. “Departmental secretaries have been directed to monitor the works under progress consistently. Chief secretary has also been directed to review the situation in 15 days,” Rawat added.

Kumbh Mela officer Deepak Rawat said that majority of the preparations will be completed by December 15. “Work on nine new ghats (river banks), eight bridges and roads being built for the Kumbh Mela is nearing completion. Special focus is on cleanliness. Works are also being done consistently on drinking water facilitation, parking facility and removal of encroachments,” he said.

In a statement released by CMO, Urban Development Minister Madan Kaushik said that the arrangements will be done in a well-panned way so that devotees face no problems.

Kaushik added that 35 to 50 lakh people are likely to attend Kumbh Mela 2021.