The kanwar yatra will not take place this year, the Uttar Pradesh government said citing a decision by groups representing the pilgrims on Saturday, a day after the Supreme Court gave the state till next week to ban the annual pilgrimage over Covid-19 risks. Earlier, several kanwar sanghs in some parts of UP said they would not be able to ensure social distancing and Covid-safe behaviour at their camps, and had thus decided not to set up any of the rest stops. The pilgrimage, which typically involves tens of millions of people, was set to begin on July 25. The kanwar yatra has been cancelled by the kanwar sanghs on the appeal of the Uttar Pradesh government,” said a brief statement issued by Uttar Pradesh additional chief secretary (information) Navneet Sehgal. This is the second year the yatra has been cancelled due to the pandemic. Last year too, the kanwar sanghs had publicly announced they will not arrange camps.