Road conditions - Uttarakhand

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Uttarakhand unlock guidelines: Hotels can reopen but guests can’t visit tourist places

According to the guidelines, the cleared hospitality establishments will not be allowed to take bookings from customers of high-load Covid-19 cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Noida, Kolkata, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, Jaipur, Lucknow and others.
DEHRADUN Updated: Jun 08, 2020 00:27 IST
Kalyan Das

Kalyan Das
Hindustan Times, Dehradun

Any decision on restarting the much revered Char Dham Yatra will take the views of Char Dham Devasthanam Board and the respective district administrations into account.


Any decision on restarting the much revered Char Dham Yatra will take the views of Char Dham Devasthanam Board and the respective district administrations into account. (HT Photo)

The Uttarakhand government on Sunday evening issued unlock guidelines for hotels, homestays, religious places and shopping malls to reopen in the state from June 8.
The guidelines issued by state chief secretary Utpal Kumar Singh allowed the hotels and homestays to open but prohibited them from taking bookings from visitors hailing from 75 high-load Covid-19 cities across the country. It also bars hotels and homestays in the containment zones and in the jurisdiction of Dehradun municipal corporation (DMC) from reopening.
According to the guidelines, the cleared hospitality establishments will not be allowed to take bookings from customers of high-load Covid-19 cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Noida, Kolkata, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, Jaipur, Lucknow and others.
The guests from non high-load Covid-19 cities will, however, have to stay for a minimum period of seven days. They will not be allowed to visit public places and tourism spots outside their hotel. The homestays and hotel managements have been directed to take undertaking from their guests to that effect. The violators would be booked by police, the guideline says.

The state also allowed the religious places to open from 7 am to 7 pm with necessary precautions. Places of worship in containment zones and those falling under DMC will not be allowed to reopen.
The pilgrims from outside the state will not be allowed to visit these religious places of worship till further orders.
Any decision on restarting the much revered Char Dham Yatra will take the views of Char Dham Devasthanam Board and the respective district administrations into account.

According to the guidelines, restaurants and shopping malls, with the exception of those in containment zones and under DMC, will be allowed to open from 7 am to 7 pm with necessary precautions.
The restaurant management has been asked strictly to maintain a record of all the customers and waiters serving the tables with proper date and time.
In the case of shopping malls, the mall management needs to submit an undertaking of adherence to the SOPs to the administration before reopening. They will also have to ensure that only 50% of shops in malls open on any given day. Apart from this, the concerned district administrations along with the mall managements have been tasked to regulate the number of visitors.

Uttarakhand has so far reported 1,355 Covid-19 cases in the state.



Uttarakhand unlock guidelines: Hotels can reopen but guests can’t visit tourist places
 

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Third snow leopard death reported from Uttarakhand’s Gangotri National Park in past five years
Snow Leopards are a rare and protected species across the world.
INDIA Updated: Jun 11, 2020 15:48 IST
Vipin Negi | Edited by Abhinav Sahay

Vipin Negi | Edited by Abhinav Sahay
Hindustan Times, Uttarkashi

The Gangotri National Park has seen deaths of three snow leopards in the past 5 years.


The Gangotri National Park has seen deaths of three snow leopards in the past 5 years. (HT Photo)

The death of a snow leopard in Uttarakhand’s Gangotri National Park on Tuesday is the third fatality of the rare and protected animal in the past five years. The seven-year-old female snow leopard that died near the Nelong valley in the park on Tuesday was unwell and could have received injuries from a fall, said authorities.
NB Sharma, deputy director of Gangotri National Park said, “Our staff found an unwell snow leopard ‘Dumkutiya’ while patrolling on Monday. A medical team and the divisional forest officer were informed on Tuesday, but by the time the team reached, the snow leopard had died. It seems it might have fallen off a cliff and was unwell due to that. We have sent its viscera sample for testing at Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Bareilly.”
Sharma said, the first snow leopard death in the park was reported in the year 2015 from Nelong Valley and in 2018, the carcass of the second snow leopard was found from the same valley.
Dehradun based Wildlife Institute of India (WII) has estimated the current numbers of snow leopards using extrapolation based on habitat quality and snow leopard density. According to S Sathyakumar, senior scientist at WII, India likely has around 516 snow leopards--86 in Uttarakhand, 90 in Himachal Pradesh, 285 in Jammu and Kashmir, 13 in Sikkim, and 42 in Arunachal Pradesh.


Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) is facing threats to its existence due to poaching and habitat destruction. It inhabits the Himalayas at elevations ranging from 3,000 to 4,500 metres. It is a Schedule I animal under the Wildlife Protection Act of India and is listed as ‘endangered’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Earlier this year, a national protocol for snow leopard population assessment was undertaken by Dehradun based WII along with Karnataka-based Nature Conservation Foundation. The project is on the lines of the global project named ‘Population Assessment of World’s Snow leopards (PAWS)’ carried out by 12 countries where the highly rare animal is found.


Third snow leopard death reported from Uttarakhand’s Gangotri National Park in past five years
 

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Uttarakhand: Char Dham priests say won’t allow even locals for darshan

Vinod Shukla, president of the Teerth Purohit Samaj in Kedarnath, said he had conveyed to the district administration his opposition to starting the ‘yatra’ even for local residents.

DEHRADUN Updated: Jun 11, 2020 13:23 IST

Suparna Roy


Suparna Roy

Hindustan Times, Dehradun

Till June 30, a maximum of 1,200 local pilgrims a day will be allowed into Badrinath shrine, 800 for Kedarnath, 600 for Gangotri, and 400 for Yamunotri.


Till June 30, a maximum of 1,200 local pilgrims a day will be allowed into Badrinath shrine, 800 for Kedarnath, 600 for Gangotri, and 400 for Yamunotri. (HT file photo)

Two days after the Uttarakhand government issued guidelines for the first time for ‘darshan’ at the Char Dham shrines and allowed only local residents to visit, the move has been opposed by the priests’ body because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The priests said they wouldn’t support visits to the shrine even by locals due to the prevailing situation. Suresh Semwal, convenor of the Devbhoomi Tirtha Purohit Haqhakudhari Mahapanchayat, said the district administration was informed by the temple committees of Gangotri and Yamunotri that they weren’t in favour of pilgrims being allowed into the shrines.
“The movement of pilgrims should be halted till the situation normalises. The Gangotri and Yamunotri temple committees have informed the district administration about priests not being willing to allow even locals to visit the shrines,” said Semwal.
Vinod Shukla, president of the Teerth Purohit Samaj in Kedarnath, said he had conveyed to the district administration his opposition to starting the ‘yatra’ even for local residents.

Brijesh Sati, spokesperson of the Devbhoomi Tirtha Purohit Haqhakudhari Mahapanchayat, said even allowing a limited number of pilgrims into the shrine might increase the risk of infections at places which have so far remained safe from Covid-19.
“By allowing pilgrims into the shrine, if the chief priest or other priests get infected, then it will hamper the complete process of worshipping at these shrines,” said Sati.
On Tuesday evening, the Uttarakhand government issued guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs) for darshan at the Char Dham shrines. The guidelines say pilgrims from outside the state won’t be allowed in till June 30, and only residents of the districts where the temples are located will be permitted to make limited visits to the shrines.
Till June 30, a maximum of 1,200 local pilgrims a day will be allowed into Badrinath shrine, 800 for Kedarnath, 600 for Gangotri, and 400 for Yamunotri.
An order issued by Ravinath Raman, chief executive officer of the Char Dham Devasthanam Management Board, said after discussions with magistrates of the districts where the temples are located, the priests’ body and local residents, “it has been decided that Char Dham yatra will remain suspended for pilgrims from outside the state till June 30”.
“However, the priests and locals have agreed to allow pilgrims from within the district and nearby areas to visit the shrines following all norms,” it stated.

Raman said, “Till June 30, yatra has only been allowed for those who live in the districts where the shrines are located. Along with them, those who have their hotels, guesthouses, shops or government officials who want to continue their work there will be allowed to go.”
Pilgrims would be allowed into the shrines between 7 am and 7 pm after they obtain a mandatory free token from counters. The SOPs state it will be mandatory for pilgrims to wear masks and maintain physical distance at the counters.
A fixed time and date will be mentioned on the token when pilgrims can go for darshan after joining the designated queue for entering shrines. The token will be checked at the entrance of the shrine. A queue of a maximum of 120 metres, with a minimum of 2 metres between each pilgrim, will be allowed for Kedarnath shrine, while for Badrinath shrine a maximum queue of 240 metres will be allowed.
According to the norms, a maximum of 80 pilgrims will be allowed into Kedarnath shrine every hour, while 120 pilgrims will be allowed into Badrinath shrine.
At Kedarnath, pilgrims will be given one minute for darshan while the time limit has been capped to 30 seconds for Badrinath shrine. Those who wish to offer special prayers will have to maintain proper social distance.


Uttarakhand: Char Dham priests say won’t allow even locals for darshan
 

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Times of India: Uttarakhand records presence of elephants in middle Himalayas for the first time.


Uttarakhand records presence of elephants in middle Himalayas for the first time
Shivani Azad | TNN | Updated: Jun 11, 2020, 17:25 IST


Till now, it was believed that elephants are present in only the Terai and Bhabar zones in the foothills of th...Read More

DEHRADUN: The latest survey of jumbos in Uttarakhand has revealed that contrary to popular belief, elephants, too, can climb mountains. Till now, it was believed that elephants are present in only the Terai and Bhabar zones in the foothills of the state. But the elephant population estimation done by the state forest department last week has come out with interesting findings that show the presence of tuskers even in the middle Himalayas — an area where their presence was hitherto not witnessed. This, experts say, indicates that elephants may have started shifting towards higher altitudes from the foothills and Terai regions largely in search of food and water as their traditional habitats get affected due to climate change and human intervention.


 
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उत्तराखंड के मध्य हिमालय में पहली बार देखे जा रहे हैं रिकॉर्ड संख्या में हाथी

Updated: | Thu, 11 Jun 2020 01:53 PM (IST)

उत्तराखंड के मध्य हिमालय में पहली बार देखे जा रहे हैं रिकॉर्ड संख्या में हाथी


राज्य वन विभाग द्वारा पिछले हफ्ते हाथियों की आबादी का अनुमान लगाने के लिए किए गए सर्वे में चौंकाने वाली जानकारियां सामने आईं।


देहरादून। उत्तराखंड में किए गए एक हालिया सर्वे के अनुसार यह पता चला है कि हाथी भी पहाड़ियों पर चढ़ सकते हैं। इससे पहले यह माना जाता रहा है कि हाथी हमेशा तराई इलाकों के निचले क्षेत्रों में ही पाए जाते हैं और वे पहाड़ों पर नहीं चढ़ सकते थे।
मगर राज्य वन विभाग द्वारा पिछले हफ्ते हाथियों की आबादी का अनुमान लगाने के लिए किए गए सर्वे में चौंकाने वाली जानकारियां सामने आईं। इसमें पता चला कि हाथी मध्य हिमालय इलाके मैं भी मौजूद थे। यह एक ऐसा क्षेत्र था जहां पर पहले कभी हाथियों को नहीं देखा गया था। विशेषज्ञों का कहना है कि यह इशारा करता है कि हाथियों ने खाने और पानी की तलाश में तराई इलाकों से उच्च इलाकों की ओर बढ़ना शुरू कर दिया है। दरअसल हाथियों के प्राकृतिक आवास को जलवायु परिवर्तन और इंसानी हस्तक्षेप की वजह से बड़े पैमाने पर नुकसान हुआ है।
हाल ही में हाथियों की जनगणना को लेकर किए गए सर्वे में शामिल एक वन विभाग के अधिकारी ने कहा सामान्य तौर पर वन विभाग मैदानी इलाकों और तराई इलाकों जैसे हल्द्वानी रामनगर देहरादून के कुछ हिस्से लैंसडाउन और कॉर्बेट एंड राजाजी टाइगर रिजर्व में ही हाथियों की संख्या को गिनने का काम करते थे।

हालांकि पहली बार पहाड़ी इलाके जैसे अल्मोड़ा, नैनीताल, मसूरी, नरेंद्र नगर, चंपावत और कलासी को भी इस सर्वे में शामिल किया गया था। उन्होंने पाया कि शुरुआती नतीजों के आधार पर इस बात के पर्याप्त सबूत हैं कि पहाड़ी जंगली संभागों जैसे अल्मोड़ा मसूरी और नैनीताल में भी हाथियों की मौजूदगी देखी गई है। इस बात की पुष्टि करने के लिए हमारे पास और भी अप्रत्यक्ष सबूत हैं।

Posted By: Shashank Shekhar Bajpai
 

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Uttarakhand man quarantined 3 days before his marriage on villagers’ complaint

According to Covid-19 management norms in Uttarakhand, any person travelling even from one district to another within the state has to undergo mandatory quarantine for 14-days.

INDIA Updated: Jun 10, 2020 23:48 IST
Mohan Rajput | Edited by Abhinav Sahay

Mohan Rajput | Edited by Abhinav Sahay
Hindustan Times, Rudrapur


A new date for the marriage will be decided after the man finishes his mandatory quarantine.


A new date for the marriage will be decided after the man finishes his mandatory quarantine.(Ht Photo/Representative use)

Uttarakhand authorities put paid to a 26-year-old youth’s marriage plans by ordering him into home quarantine just three days before his marriage after learning that the prospective groom had arrived from another district in the state a few days ago, said an official.
“It is mandatory that if a person comes from another district of the state, he will be put under home quarantine. If anybody violates the norms, action is taken against the violator,” said TS Martolia, additional district magistrate, Champawat.
The man, a resident of Chaura Mehta village of Champawat district is a teacher at a private school in Sitarganj area of Udham Singh Nagar district. His wedding was fixed for June 11 with a woman of Nainital district. As per the original schedule, he had to lead a baraat (wedding procession) to Nainital, official said.

After he reached home last week for the wedding, his relatives approached the local administration to obtain permission for the wedding. Meanwhile, some villagers complained to police that the man had come from another district and should be put under quarantine.

Acting on the complaint, the police sent the man a notice of quarantine on Monday, just three days before his wedding. Now, as per the notice, he will have to remain in 14-day home quarantine till June 21, said an official.
The man told local media that since Udham Singh Nagar had been declared a green zone, he thought he would not to be quarantined. Now, he is under quarantine and both parties will fix a new wedding date after his quarantine ends.


Uttarakhand man quarantined 3 days before his marriage on villagers’ complaint
 

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Amid LAC standoff, BRO moves heavy equipment to India-China border in Uttarakhand to build strategic road
India

PTI
PTI

Updated Jun 11, 2020 | 16:56 IST



The Munsiyari-Bogdiyar- Milam road, which is being constructed in the high Himalayan region of Johar Valley in the state's Pithoragarh district, will be a link to the last posts on the Indo-China border.

Representational Image

Representational Image | Photo Credit: IANS


Pithoragarh: Helicopters have landed heavy road-building machinery in the tough Himalayan terrain of Uttarakhand's Johar Valley to help speed up construction of the strategic Munsiyari-Bugdiyar-Milam road near the India-China border, an official said.
After several failed attempts in 2019, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) recently succeeded in carrying heavy road-building equipment by helicopters to Laspa, raising hopes of the road's faster completion, BRO Chief Engineer Bimal Goswami said.
The absence of heavy stone cutting equipment at Laspa near the alignment site of the 65-km road had delayed its construction. The Munsiyari-Bogdiyar- Milam road, which is being constructed in the high Himalayan region of Johar Valley in the state's Pithoragarh district, will be a link to the last posts on the Indo-China border.
After several unsuccessful attempts last year, we succeeded this month in landing helicopters carrying heavy machines to Laspa. We now hope that cutting work of the challenging stretch will be completed in the next three years, Goswami said.
Cutting of hard rocks, which are standing straight on a 22-km portion of the road, will now become easy as heavy machines can be transported by helicopters to the spot.
Construction of the road was started in 2010 with an amount of Rs 325 crore sanctioned for the project, the BRO chief engineer said. He said the road is being constructed from both ends and except the 22-km hard portion, cutting work has been completed on 40 km of the road.

Amid LAC standoff, BRO moves heavy equipment to India-China border in Uttarakhand to build strategic road
 

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1 Indian killed, 4 injured in firing by Nepal police near border with
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At least one Indian was killed and four others were injured after Nepal police allegedly fired indiscriminately on them at the border near Sitamarhi district in Bihar on Friday, officials said.Sources said the firing took place after a clash between the Indians and personnel of Nepal police at the Lalbandi-Janki Nagar border in Pipra Parsain panchayat under Sonebarsha police station of the district.
 

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Corbett Tiger Reserve to reopen after 3 months, tourists limited to 3 zones

The move follows the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) allowing tiger reserves across the country to open with all precautions.

DEHRADUN Updated: Jun 12, 2020 17:29 IST


Suparna Roy


Suparna Roy
Hindustan Times, Dehradun

NTCA’s guidelines state there should be mandatory thermal scanning of all tourists and drivers, and that all visitors, guides and drivers should wear masks and face shields.


NTCA’s guidelines state there should be mandatory thermal scanning of all tourists and drivers, and that all visitors, guides and drivers should wear masks and face shields.(AP)

The Corbett tiger reserve in Uttarakhand is set to reopen after a closure of nearly three months because of Covid-19-related restrictions and authorities intend to allow tourists into three zones while observing all health protocols.
The move follows the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) allowing tiger reserves across the country to open with all precautions.
Uttarakhand’s chief wildlife warden Rajiv Bhartari issued an order dated June 10 that said, “Tourism activities can be allowed in Corbett Tiger Reserve given the instructions given by NTCA regarding the opening of tiger reserves and the orders and standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the district administration to control the spread of Covid-19 are followed.”
The order said the park’s administration should hold a meeting with officials from Pauri Garhwal and Nainital districts, over which the reserve is spread out.
NTCA’s guidelines state there should be mandatory thermal scanning of all tourists and drivers, and that all visitors, guides and drivers should wear masks and face shields.
There should be hand sanitisers in every vehicle, and their tyres should be cleaned with disinfectant, while seating capacity should be reduced to 50%. People below 10 years and above 65 years won’t be allowed in the reserves, according to the guidelines.
With preparations underway to reopen Corbett tiger reserve, officials said only three zones of the park will be open to visitors.

RK Tiwari, the warden of Corbett tiger reserve, said: “We are holding meetings with district administrations to get all the permissions and to chalk out a proper plan before tourists are allowed in. This year we will only be opening Jhirna, Dhela and Pakhro zones, which are open to tourists around the year.
“As Dhikala and Bijrani zones are closed to tourists by June 15 every year, those zones will not be opened.”
Tiwari said officials are also holding meetings with the district administrations to discuss SOPs issued by the tourism department, which state any tourist who visits Uttarakhand will have to stay for a minimum of seven days and cannot venture out to tourist spots.

“First, we have to ensure that we don’t take bookings from those districts from which if people come, they have to undergo mandatory 21-day quarantine. Then if tourists go for a safari, they should maintain social distancing, and only two people will be allowed in a vehicle but the cost will be the same. So we have to find a way out for these details,” he said.
Speaking on the gates of Corbett being opened after a gap of almost three months, Bhartari said, “We haven’t issued any specific directions to the director of the reserve. They have first been asked to comply with all NTCA guidelines, then follow SOPs of the state and central governments and third, organise a meeting of the local advisory committee under the chairmanship of commissioner of Kumaon region for the safety of tourists.”
Bhartari said it wouldn’t be possible to allow tourism activities in Rajaji tiger reserve as only three days are left before it is closed for the monsoon, but Corbett has three zones that remain open through the monsoon too.
On March 17, Uttarakhand’s forest department ordered the closure of all protected sites and zoos amid the Covid-19 outbreak. The chief wildlife warden then issued an order that all protected sites such as national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, tiger reserves and zoos would be closed to prevent the spread of infections.
The Corbett tiger reserve, spread over 1,288 sq m, is believed to have around 260 tigers and is one of the most loved tourist destinations of the state. The gates of Corbett open for six months on November 15 every year.
The reserve attracts around 300,000 tourists every year across its six eco-tourism zones, with Dhikala and Bijrani being the most popular.



Corbett Tiger Reserve to reopen after 3 months, tourists limited to 3 zones
 
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