Haridwar: Borders of Haridwar will remain sealed today and tomorrow (November 30) as a measure to ensure that devotees do not enter the district to take the holy dip in Ganga which is not allowed on the occasion of Kartik Purnima. Lakhs of devotees from different parts of the country including Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh converge on the banks of the Ganga here for a ritual bath in the river on the occasion every year.

However, in compliance with the Centre's guidelines in view of COVID-19, it has been decided to stop people from taking a bath in the river on Kartik Purnima this year as it will lead to crowding on the ghats which may cause spread of the virus, Haridwar District Magistrate C Ravishankar said.

Those who violate the orders will be punished under the Epidemic Act 1897 and the Disaster Management Act 2005, he said.

"Borders of Haridwar will remain sealed today and tomorrow as a measure to ensure that devotees do not enter the district to take the holy dip in Ganga which is not allowed on the occasion of Kartik Purnima," said Senior Superintendent of Police Senthil Abudai Krishnaraj S said.

The development comes a few days after the district administration cancelled the celebrations on the occasion of 'Kartik Purnima bath' (November 30) in view of the increasing cases of COVID-19.

Every year lakhs of people from different states of the country come here to take the holy dip in the Ganga river on the occasion of Kartik Purnima. However, this year, devotees coming from other states shall not be allowed to enter Haridwar to combat the COVID-19 spread. At present, there are 4,876 active cases of coronavirus in the state.