Amarnath Yatra expects six lakh footfall, J&K administration issues directions
Expecting a footfall of nearly six lakh during the annual Amarnath Yatra, the Jammu and Kashmir administration on Sunday issued directions to widen walking tracks, lay down prefabricated cement tiles on tracks from Baltal, and build retaining walls. The directions were passed by Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam who chaired the 10th meeting of the High-Level Committee of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB).
Amarnath Yatra begins every year in June-July
Amarnath Yatra, an annual pilgrimage, usually starts in June-July on the traditional 36-kilometer long Pahalgam route in Anantnag district and the shorter 14-kilometer long Baltal route in Ganderbal district. It concludes in August, coinciding with Raksha Bandhan.
Chief Secretary reviewed the details for safe movement of pilgrims
The Chief Secretary reviewed in detail the facilities for the safe, smooth, and secure movement of pilgrims, particularly along the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway and the Baltal and the Chandanwari tracks up to the cave shrine located at an altitude of 3,880 meters in the South Kashmir Himalayas. He instructed the administration to undertake preparations for an expected footfall of six lakh yatris this year.
All basic facilities for the yatris have been reviewed
Subrahmanyam reviewed the status of track upgradation, improvements at the access control gates, the establishment of temporary camps, shelter sheds, medical camps, and emergency operation centers, provision of drinking water, lighting, ration, and mobile connectivity besides establishment of Joint Control Rooms as per NDMA suggestion.
Prepare a specific plan for the Lakhanpur route: Subrahmanyam
Subrahmanyam directed divisional commissioners of J&K to closely monitor the arrangements being put in place in transit camps, particularly at Kathua, Samba, Jammu, Udhampur, Ramban, Baltal, and Chandanwari. He also asked them to prepare a plan for regulating the passage of yatris throughout the route from Lakhanpur, giving due consideration to local traffic and movement of Kashmir-bound load carriers, especially if the highway blocks.
Arrangements being made for scientific disposal of waste
To further ensure secure passage of pilgrims, directions were issued to appropriately widen walking tracks, install railings, and construct retaining walls. Arrangements related to the scientific disposal of solid and liquid waste by the Sonmarg and the Pahalgam development authorities and the SASB were discussed.
Ponies to be screened against Glander's disease
Various agencies have been asked to install bio-toilets, waste-specific garbage bins, mechanical segregator, auto-composter, and electromagnetic disintegrator. Arrangements with regard to registration and medical screening of ponies against Glander's disease, setting pony sheds, veterinary camps, and a pre-paid system for hiring ponies, were also reviewed. To ensure timely completion, concerned departments have been asked to initiate financial and administrative processes well in advance.