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Amarnath Yatra: 43-day annual yatra in Jammu and Kashmir to begin on June 30


The decision on the schedule of the pilgrimage was taken at the 41st meeting of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) chaired by Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha at the Raj Bhavan here, an official spokesman said.

The pilgrimage to the Himalayan shrine of Amarnath located at a height of 3,880 metres in south Kashmir will start on June 30 after a two year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 43-day yatra (pilgrimage) will end on August 11, shrine authorities said on Sunday.

The decision on the schedule of the pilgrimage was taken at the 41st meeting of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) chaired by Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha at the Raj Bhavan here, an official spokesman said.

The pilgrimage to the cave shrine would start simultaneously from both the routes, the Pahalgam track in Anantnag district and the Baltal track in Ganderbal district, while online registration will start from April 11.

The annual yatra to the shrine was cancelled midway in 2019 ahead of abrogation of Article 370 in August that year, while only a symbolic yatra was observed during the past two years due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

“Today chaired board meeting of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board. The 43-day holy pilgrimage will commence on 30th June with all Covid protocols in place and culminate, as per the tradition, on the day of Raksha Bandhan. We had in-depth discussion on various issues also on the upcoming yatra,” Sinha tweeted.

Giving details of the meeting, the spokesman said the board has decided to put in place a daily route-wise pilgrims ceiling of 10,000, excluding yatri’s who would travel by helicopters.

The board has also decided to extend the free-of-cost battery car service for pilgrims at the 2.75-km-long Baltal to Domel stretch, he said.

Addressing the meeting, Lt Governor Sinha called on officials to be proactive and ensure elaborate arrangements for conducting a smooth yatra as large number of devotees are expected to arrive to pay their obeisance at the cave shrine, housing the naturally formed ice-shivlingam.

“Government is introducing RFID system for pilgrims to track their movement en-route to ensure their well-being,” he said.
Sinha laid special emphasis on providing best-in-class health facilities to all the visiting devotees and service providers, strengthening telecommunication channels for yatris, besides use of latest technological measures to achieve optimal synergy between different government departments and agencies.

Jammu and Kashmir Director General Police Dilbag Singh briefed the board about the security arrangement plan for the yatra.

He said besides mountain rescue teams, the Jammu and Kashmir Police will also set up camps of health and medical care for yatris.

Chief Executive Officer, SASB, Nitishwar Kumar gave a brief overview of the route map of the shrine and various services being made available by the board enroute and at the holy cave.

“The key preparations have been made for this year’s yatra. With increased capacity for accommodation, new Yatri Niwas Bhawans, augmented health facilities, upgraded tracks, telecommunication facilities, heli services, SASB app, year-long insurance for ponywaalas, many unique initiatives have been taken for the benefit of yatris and service providers,” he said.
Several suggestions and inputs were given SASB members and these included sustained media campaign for facilitating people with all information regarding the yatra vis-a-vis on how to avail yatra services, dos and don’ts and mandatory heath checkups, the spokesman said.

Lt Governor Sinha during the meeting also directed officials for sending special invites to akhada parishads and acharya parishads for facilitation of pilgrimage for seers. He said all suggestions made by the board members will be acted upon by officers of the administration and the SASB.

Sinha directed the officers to complete all the ongoing infrastructure upgrade works by May-end. “All utilities on the routes (to the shrine) should be ready and made functional well before the commencement of yatra,” he said. The lieutenant governor stressed on ensuring world-class sanitation arrangement on the track and in yatra camps.

The board will also enable live telecast of morning and evening aarti (prayers) for devotees across the globe. The ‘Shri Amarnathji Yatra’ app has been made available on Google play store to get real time information about the yatra, weather and for availing several services online, the spokesman said.




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