Jammu and Kashmir government has said it is undertaking preparations for 6 lakh yatris for Shri Amarnath Yatra this year. To ensure secure passage of pilgrims, directions have been issued to widen walking tracks, install railings, and construct retaining walls with a special focus on laying down pre-fabricated cement tiles on tracks from the Baltal area.
On Sunday, Chief Secretary, B V R Subrahmanyam disclosed the details - It was the 10th meeting of the High-level Committee (HLC) of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) to review the preparations being made for a safe and hassle-free yatra 2021.
“The Chief Secretary reviewed in detail the facilities for safe, smooth, and secure movement of pilgrims particularly along the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway and Baltal and Chandanwari yatra tracks up to the Holy Cave,” a government spokesman said.
“The Chief Secretary reviewed the status of track up-gradation works on Baltal and Chandanwari routes, improvements at the access control gates, the establishment of temporary camps, shelter sheds, health and medical camps, and Emergency Operation Centers (EOCs) at various locations, provisions of drinking water supply, lighting, LPG, ration, Medicine, and mobile connectivity besides establishment of Joint Control Rooms,” the spokesman added.
“He directed the divisional commissioners of Jammu and Kashmir to closely monitor the arrangements being put in place in transit camps along the Yatra route particularly at Kathua, Samba, Jammu, Udhampur, Ramban, Baltal, and Chandanwari. He further asked them to work out a plan for regulating the passage of Yatris throughout the route from Lakhanpur to the Holy Cave and back,” the spokesman added.
“Disaster Management Department was asked to tie-up with the Information department to ensure that regular weather reports are broadcasted on the national media for information of Yatris,” the spokesman added.
The Amarnath shrine is situated at an altitude of 13,500 feet above sea level. The pilgrims have to trek a distance of 32 km from Chandanwari (Pahalgam route) and 14 km from Baltal to reach the Amarnath shrine.
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine