More biometric centres for pilgrim registration on Char Dham routes


Uttarakhand chief secretary has asked tourism department to put up more biometric centres on roads leading to pilgrims centres of Gangotri, Yamunotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath to register pilgrims and track their progress.

With the hindsight gained from the 2013 flashfloods that claimed lives of thousands of pilgrims and left many bodies unclaimed and unidentified, the biometric registration was introduced in 2014 to gather fingerprint, photograph, health details and phone number of pilgrims coming to Uttarakhand for Char dham.

Tourists will be provided special registration cards to track them and help avail of government services like food and lodging. Char Dham pilgrimage will begin on May 9 this year.

At present, there are 12 such centres and more will come up in places with high tourist flow, likely in Guptakashi, Sonprayag and Rishikesh.

Chief Secretary Shatrughna Singh said more bio-digester toilets and resting centres will be set up on the pilgrimage route.

Governor KK Paul has asked tourism department to put sign boards at every 50km on the Char Dham pilgrimage route informing public of amenities such as rest houses, hospitals, fuel pumps, potable water and public conveniences.

The governor is in charge of the state after President’s Rule was imposed, and all the functions of the government of Uttarakhand assumed by the President shall be exercised also by the governor.

Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamnotri are four main pilgrimage centres of Char Dham route that were ravaged in the 2013 floods. The road connectivity to these dhams is in tatters.

The governor said it was important to provide basic amenities to tourists and pilgrims so that tourism could become a strong base for state’s economy.