Other States

Preparations ramped up for Amarnath Yatra

Dates and flow of pilgirms not formalised yet

The J&K administration on Tuesday decided to speed up preparations for the annual Amarnath Yatra in Kashmir, even as no dates or details on the flow of pilgrims have been formalised so far, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“All the rituals with morning and evening pooja or aarti shall take place at the holy cave from 5th July (Vyas Poornima) to 3rd August (Raksha Bandhan),” Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu, also Chairman of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), said.

Mr. Murmu chaired a meeting of the concerned departments in Jammu.

Baseer Ahmad Khan, Advisor to the Lieutenant Governor, informed the meeting that 80% work on the Baltal track was completed.

‘Ready to be deployed’

“Work on five out of seven bridges has been initiated. Verification of service providers by the police has been done. They are ready to be deployed. A new helipad at the lower cave, 1.2 km ahead of the holy cave, is being constructed by the Pahalgam Development Authority,” Mr. Khan said.

Mr. Khan said arrangements by various line departments were underway and ground-level staff would be mobilised within the couple of days.

The camp at the holy cave was already established and snow clearance work had been completed. The base camp at Baltal and the Neelgrath helipad were likely to be ready next week. “The SASB is making arrangements for the live telecast of the morning and evening aarti with Doordarshan,” a government spokesperson said.

J&K Chief Secretary B. V. R. Subrahmanyam has asked the SASB and J&K Tourism Department “to put in place all the facilities and arrangements required for the Yatra”.

‘In due course’

Mr. Murmu said the decision regarding the Yatra shall be taken appropriately in due course of time.

“All basic preparations, including health, infrastructure, ration, power, drinking water, security arrangements, telecommunication, disaster management etc. will be worked out,” he added.

Earlier, the J&K administration had decided to cancel the annual pilgrimage but allow a restricted pilgrimage later.

Last year, the Amarnath yatra was cut short in the run-up to the Centre’s move to revoke J&K’s special status.

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Printable version | Jul 12, 2020 10:56:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/preparations-ramped-up-for-amarnath-yatra/article31901662.ece

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