COVID: After public anger, Ladakh admin cancels annual Sindhu Darshan

Leh: Owing to the rise in COVID-19 infection cases in the region, the Ladakh Union Territory administration has cancelled the annual Sindhu Darshan which was scheduled to start from June 19.

Secretary, Tourism and Culture, Mehboob Ali Khan had chaired a review meeting to make necessary preparations for the annual Sindhu Darshan-2021 festival at the Tourist Reception Centre on May 12.

According to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the UT administration announced the cancelation of the annual event on May 13, a day after UT faced severe public backlash given the unprecedented rise in the COVID-19 cases in the region and deaths on regular basis.

The Union Territory administration earlier announced a lockdown in the region due to a steep rise in the virus cases up to Monday to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the region.

Notably, the authorities in April last month stated that most of the positive cases in the region are outsiders mainly laborers and tourists flowing which a negative RT-PCR test report was made mandatory for all those arriving in the region.

A handout available with KNO states that the annual Sindhu Darshan Festival is scheduled to held from June 19 onwards. A detailed discussion on water supply, power supply, setting up of local market, food court, bus parking, VIP parking, etc. was held in the meeting chaired by Secretary, Tourism and Culture, Mehboob Ali Khan on May 12 in the ensuing month.

Responding to the feedback from public representatives/public over conducting Sindhu Darshan in June 2021, Secretary Tourism and Culture shared that there has been a misunderstanding of facts regarding the purpose of the review meeting, reads the handout.

Just a day after the administration faced public anger, the authorities on May 13 in a handout clarified that Secretary, Tourism and Culture, Mehboob Ali Khan, clarified that the review meeting convened on May 12 to review the progress of the ongoing work at Sindhu Ghat/ Indus River Front was not related to organising the Sindhu Darshan 2021 event per se.

It states that given the unprecedented Covid-19 situation in Ladakh and across India, the UT Administration and the event organisers have decided to postpone the event till the Covid-19 situation improves

Sindhu Darshan is held every year in June on the full moon day of Guru Purnima. On this day, devotees gather near the banks of the Indus River, which is known as the Sindhu River.


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