Ramban district in Jammu and Kashmir got a modern yatri niwas for Amarnath pilgrims after Lieutenant Governor (LG) Manoj Sinha inaugurated it virtually on Tuesday, officials said. The facility can give shelter to 3,600 pilgrims. The annual Amarnath yatra is scheduled to begin from Jammu on Wednesday.
Speaking on the occasion, the LG said the inauguration of the Chanderkote Yatri Niwas underlines the efforts of the Union Territory administration to organize a grand yatra this year. "The state-of-the-art facility, with a capacity of 3,600 pilgrims, will provide a huge relief and comfort to the pilgrims," he added.
The project was completed at a cost of Rs 47 crore. The work was entrusted to the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) in April 2021 and it was completed in a record time of 14 months, officials said. The yatri niwas has a cluster of 17 dormitories in G+2 dimensions with all modern facilities and features, including modern toilets, fire extinguishers, signages, LED down lighters, etc.
The LG congratulated the engineers, workers, and officials for their tremendous efforts. He also expressed his gratitude to IIT, Roorkee for making a significant contribution to the completion of the project. Sinha said improvements have been made across the board to enhance the holding capacities at the shelters, provide best-in-class medical, sanitation, and lodging facilities, and to offer the pilgrims the convenience of completing the pilgrimage in a single day by starting helicopter services on new routes.
For the convenience of the pilgrims arriving in Jammu, camps have been set up at the airport, the railway station, and the bus stand, which will issue RFID tags on the basis of travel slips and identity cards, the officials said. Further, new shelter sheds have been built on the Baltal and Pahalgam axis. Battery-operated cars will be provided to the pilgrims for the 2.3-km distance between Baltal and Domel and optical fiber cable has been laid on the entire route of the yatra to provide dedicated telecom connectivity to the pilgrims.
The LG said the Amarnathji Shrine Board mobile application has been revamped and launched in five languages -- Hindi, English, Punjabi, Gujarati, and Telugu -- to facilitate the pilgrims with up-to-date information, advisories, etc.
It was informed that the duty officers deputed have been given training about the SoPs of all services related to COVID-19, health, cleanliness, waste management, monitoring of travel, food, and prasad. Further, disaster-related facilities have also been duly planned and mock drills conducted regularly to tackle any eventuality.