Haridwar: Around 3.30 crore pilgrims have reached Haridwar as part of the ongoing Kanwar Yatra, said reports on Monday morning.

The yatra is an annual pilgrimage of Shiva’s devotees. This year it began on July 23. Uttarakhand Police made special arrangements for the trek.

Uttarakhand DG, Law and Order, Ashok Kumar, said, “We have set a special camp to assist people who get lost from their family and friends. So far, 616 people have been traced and reunited with their family members.”

“We have deployed SDRF Deep diving team, Water police and PSC disaster Relief Company at 20 spots. 150 personnel are on duty to say people from drowning. So far 41 people have been saved from drowning in Ganga”, he added.

Every year, around this time of the year, millions of devotees from across India, sporting orange clothing with decorated pots on their shoulders, undertake the pilgrimage, called Kanwar Yatra, on foot during the Saavan month of the Hindu calendar.

They visit Haridwar, Gaumukh and Gangotri in Uttarakhand and Sultanganj in Bihar to fetch waters of Ganga. Later, the holy water is dispensed as offerings to Lord Shiva in temples. The Uttarakhand government had already announced that all schools and colleges in Haridwar would remain closed from July 23 to July 30.

UP DGP OP Singh had also directed the officials to be vigilant and deal with crime strictly, especially crime against women, to ensure peaceful and successful completion of Kanwar Yatra.

Police didn’t deny the possibility of terror activities stating last year’s experience. “Last year we had arrested terrorists from four places so the possibility cannot be denied. There have been cases where vehicles have been used to run over people at crowded places. Our attention will be on criminals and anti-social elements,” he said.