To prevent illegal duplication of registration forms for pilgrimage to Amarnath cave shrine in South Kashmir, high security ‘Yatra Permit’ will be issued to devotees this year.

In a meeting of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) under the chairmanship of Jammu and Kashmir Governor N. N. Vohra, the new design of ‘Yatra Permit Registration Forms’ was approved.

The permit will have a number of high-security features to ensure against these forms being duplicated by unlawful elements, a SASB spokesman said.

The 44-day annual pilgrimage to Amarnath, holy Himalayan cave shrine of Lord Shiva in south Kashmir, will begin from June 28, an auspicious day as per Hindu Calendar and conclude on 10 August.

SASB Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Navin K. Choudhary said a number of complaints had been received against duplication of Yatra Permit Forms which, till Yatra 2013 were being printed by the Banks designated by the board to undertake registration of pilgrims.

The Governor had directed that the existing format of the Form be made pilfer-proof, Mr. Choudhary said.

The security features in the new form were proposed by Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Ltd (SPMCIL), a central PSU under the Finance Ministry responsible for the printing of currency notes, minting of coins, printing Passport and stamp papers.

The Board, during its meeting held on January 20, approved the final design of the Yatra Permit.

The revised Form consists of several high security features like a Ashoka Pillar watermark which will be printed on the Form in the same manner as on currency notes, a micro-text line, which can be visible under a magnifying glass, and the shrine board logo printed with fluorescent blue ink, which also can be visible only under U-V light.

The printing has been done with chemically sensitive security ink.

An expenditure of about Rs. 75 lakhs is being incurred on printing and transportation of the new forms, Mr. Choudhary said, adding, the revised forms will be in different colours for each day and each route.

The Governor has directed the board to ensure timely distribution of the Yatra Permit Forms to the designated 422 Bank branches, which will undertake registration of pilgrims.