Vrindavan, 2017.11.03 (VT): Last month we published an announcement that the Govardhan parikrama marg would be permanently closed to traffic, starting immediately. This heavy order had reportedly come from the DM himself, in compliance with a 2015 order by the NGT.
Devotees were pleased to hear the news, but also found it hard to believe.
Closing the Govardhan Parikrama to cars is a necessary step – heavy vehicles speeding alongside thousands of pedestrians who are walking, and sometimes bowing, around the holy mountain is a recipe for disaster. But in addition to closing the parikrama marg to vehicles, the NGT’s order also states that a parallel ring road must be created around Govardhan to facilitate traffic. That road is still incomplete, which led locals to question how the government could possibly enforce the ban.
When Vrindavan Today’s correspondant traveled to Govardhan recently to cover the Govardhan Pooja festival, the traffic on the Govardhan Parikrama marg was almost impassible. Busses, cars, tractors and so forth freely plied the holy route – except on the day of Govardhan Pooja itself when the road traditionally remains closed.
So what happened to the ban?
Speaking to Vrindavan Today, a local resident of Govardhan, who prefers to remain anonymous, said, “One day they made an announcement with loudspeakers that the Govardhan Parikrama marg was permanently closed to all vehicle traffic. The next day, the police vehicles were driving about. On the third day, VIPs were allowed to drive on the Parikrama Marg. And the day after that, they just let everybody in.”
One may wonder why such announcements are made in the first place. Please share your thoughts about this issue in the comments.
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