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Puri, Sinha Lay Foundation Stone Of Amarnath Yatri Niwas In Jammu

Sinha said a financial allocation of Rs 51 crore was received from the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) for the construction of the yatri niwas as part of government-owned company's corporate social responsibility.

Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri
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Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Tuesday jointly laid the foundation stone of an Amarnath yatri niwas and a disaster management centre here, and announced the setting up of 4-5 more yatri niwas soon.

Sinha said a financial allocation of Rs 51 crore was received from the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) for the construction of the yatri niwas as part of government-owned company's corporate social responsibility.

"I am immensely grateful to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri for Amarnath shrine board's yatri niwas at Jammu. This new facility will ease the lives of devotees embarking on annual pilgrimage of Baba Amarnath," Sinha was quoted as saying in an official statement.

Designed by School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, the yatri niwas is set for completion within 18-month time period

Sinha also said the government was trying to "scale up the facilities including lodging, transportation, medical, and better connectivity for the safe and hassle-free pilgrimage of the devotees".

Road connectivity is also being improved which will provide smooth passage to the pilgrims, the LG said.

A complex has already been built in Chanderkote in Ramban district and more such complexes are being planned to ensure a smooth and comfortable pilgrimage experience to the yatris. The installation of mobile towers as well as the efforts of the Border Roads Organization (BRO) to prepare the track for the pilgrimage are also underway, the LG said.

"We are making dedicated efforts to strengthen communication connectivity. Telecommunication towers, Cell on Wheels (used to provides temporary network coverage to areas with limited cellular connectivity) are being installed by the telecom service providers. Army is laying an optical fibre cable from Sonamarg to the holy cave," he added.

Last year, 3.65 lakh pilgrims visited the holy shrine, the highest since 2015. As many as 120 additional bank branches were added last year to facilitate the registration of pilgrims. Registration this year is being provided through 542 branches across the country, Sinha said.

Meanwhile, Union Minister Puri expressed gratitude for being a part of "this momentous" occasion.

He said the yatri niwas will comprise 54 rooms and 18 dormitories.

Puri, the Housing and Urban Affairs minister, said the central government was ready to provide all possible support to built more facilities for the Amarnath Yatra pilgrims.

Sinha said the complex, to be built in the scenic lower Shivaliks range on the outskirts of the city, will accommodate 2,500 pilgrims at a time, adding that it will provide accomodation over 30,000 Amarnath pilgrims every year. It will help in traffic management and ensure a seamless experience, he added.

-With PTI Input

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