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Jammu & Kashmir - Current Events
Friday, June 12, 2009
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Amarnathji Yatra: Flag-off from Jammu on
June 15 for Baltal route

Mahagunas – Sheshnag still under snow.
Governor conducts final assessment of both tracks

Srinagar, June 12 - To make a final assessment of the tracks leading to the Holy Cave Shrine of Shri Amarnathji, in the wake of recent unprecedented snowfall, Governor, Mr. N. N. Vohra, personally conducted a detailed review of the climatic conditions and the arrangements at the Holy Cave and both the Base Camps at Baltal and Pahalgam.

  Governor, Shri N. N. Vohra and CEO Shri Amarnath Shrine Board, Shri B.B.Vyas during arial assessment of both tracks to the Holy Cave Shrine of Shri Amarnathji.
 
Governor, Shri N. N. Vohra and CEO Shri Amarnath Shrine Board, Shri B.B.Vyas during arial assessment of both tracks to the Holy Cave Shrine of Shri Amarnathji

The Governor’s visit followed a series of aerial and on–ground surveys conducted by the Shrine Board authorities and the Civil Administration during the past two weeks, including the aerial survey by the Chief Minister on 10th June 2009. The Governor, who is the Chairman of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), had undertaken aerial visits of the Holy Cave area and the two routes on three earlier occasions-on 6th, 8th and 24th May ... more

 


50% reduction on charges levied on Tent and Shop Owners for Shri Amarnathji Yatra

Pahalgam, June 12- Governor Mr. N N Vohra, yesterday ordered 50 per cent reduction in the fee being collected by the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board from the shopkeepers and tent-owners, who are permitted to run their establishments during the Shri Amarnathji Yatra at the Base Camps of Baltal and Nunwan and other camping sites enroute the Holy Cave Shrine ... more

 


Sindhu Darshan Festival Inaugurated

Leh, June 12 – Chief Minister Mr. Omar Abdullah has said that Sindhu Darshan festival has proved a great success and is playing a key role in promoting tourism potential of Ladakh region. He said the region offers great power potential in solar, hydro-electric and geothermal sectors which can be tapped with the support of Union Ministry of New And Renewable Energy. The Chief Minister was speaking at Sindhu Ghat, here today, after inaugurating the Sindhu Darshan festival ... more

Amarnathji Yatra: Flag-off from Jammu on June 15 for Baltal route
Mahagunas – Sheshnag still under snow.
Governor conducts final assessment of both tracks

Srinagar, June 12 - To make a final assessment of the tracks leading to the Holy Cave Shrine of Shri Amarnathji, in the wake of recent unprecedented snowfall, Governor, Mr. N. N. Vohra, personally conducted a detailed review of the climatic conditions and the arrangements at the Holy Cave and both the Base Camps at Baltal and Pahalgam.

The Governor’s visit followed a series of aerial and on–ground surveys conducted by the Shrine Board authorities and the Civil Administration during the past two weeks, including the aerial survey by the Chief Minister on 10th June 2009. The Governor, who is the Chairman of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), had undertaken aerial visits of the Holy Cave area and the two routes on three earlier occasions-on 6th, 8th and 24th May.

After visiting the Holy Cave, the Governor could not proceed to the Pahalgam Base Camp in the morning as he could not go across Mahagunas Top due to extremely bad weather and fresh snow along this track. The Governor then decided to survey the Sheshnag-Panchtarni track by flying in from the Pahalgam side yesterday afternoon. He was again unable to proceed on this axis because of bad weather and snow. He managed to survey a portion of the track beyond Chandanwari. The track beyond Sheshnag is still under heavy snow.

At the Holy Cave, the Governor was briefed on the arrangements made by the Board by its Camp Director. It was informed that despite continuing heavy rain and daily snow, it had been possible to install 9 huts and 40 toilets and clear 4 langar sites. Accordingly, four langars stationed at Baltal have been allowed to move towards the Holy Cave and these are expected to become fully functional by the 15th June. Several other Non–Governmental Organisations, authorized to set up langars, have also been asked to proceed to the Holy Cave and other locations like Panchtarni and Sheshnag as early as possible. The Governor was assured by the District Administration that proper arrangements for drinking water and electricity will be made available at the Holy Cave by 15th June.

At the Baltal Base Camp, the officers of various development and service providing departments briefed the Governor about the positioning of various facilities and services at the Camp and the provision of utilities at the Camping sites at Domel, Rail Pathri, Brari Marg and Sangam on the Baltal-Holy Cave axis. He also took stock of the arrangements with regard to the supply of drinking water, power, essential commodities.

Flying out from the Holy Cave side to cover the Cave-Sheshnag-Pahalgam axis, the Governor could not go beyond Panchtarni because of bad weather and the fresh snowfall at Mahagunas Top. The clearance of the track between Sheshnag, Mahagunas and Panchtarni, which already had 5-7 feet of snow, received a major setback due to the heavy fresh snowfall on the week–end. Notwithstanding the slight improvement in the weather during the past two days, the Holy Cave area also had another snowfall a day earlier. As per reports received today, the Sheshnag area witnessed about 6 inches of fresh snowfall yesterday.

At the Nunwan Base Camp, Pahalgam, the Governor was apprised of the various arrangements and infrastructural facilities created by the Board and the support extended by the District Administration. He was informed that efforts have been doubled, both in terms of men and material, to expedite creation of various utility services and for this purpose the personnel and required material is being sent via the Baltal route to avoid further delays.

The Deputy Commissioner, Anantnag, Sheikh Mushtaq Ahmad, gave a detailed briefing about the arrangements being put in place with special emphasis on Disaster Management. He assured the Governor with regard to complete preparedness on the part of the Administration to meet any emergent situation.
The Governor stressed the high importance of an effective Disaster Management Plan being in position, in view of the continued spell of rains and snow in the entire Himalayan region. He called for coordinated efforts in meeting any unforeseen exigency, re-iterating that the safety and security of the Yatris must remain the paramount concern of both the Shrine Board and the State Government.

Earlier, the Governor was informed by the Administration that a comprehensive action plan has been prepared by Meteorological Department for providing weather advisory services during the Yatra. The local unit of the Meteorological Department shall be issuing Daily Bulletins to both the Administration and the Board, at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. everyday, to share the weather forecast and warnings on the weather position. The Shrine Board has provided prefab huts for use by the Meteorological Department personnel at both the Baltal and Nunwan Base Camps.

The Governor also inspected the work on the innovative Pilot Projects for effective treatment and management of the solid waste, which are in the final phase of execution at both the Base Camps. He also sought information about the installation of shedders and placement of garbage collection bins at identified spots in the Camps as well as at various points alongside the route for collection of all kinds of waste. He directed all concerned to ensure adequate arrangements for collection and disposal of solid waste on a continuing basis at all locations in the Shrine area, to maintain visible cleanliness.

Observing that the safety and security of the Yatris was the first and foremost concern of the Board, particularly in the context of the obtaining adverse weather conditions and its impact on the present status of the tracks and facilities, particularly on the Chandanwari–Holy Cave route, the Governor stated that the Board is left with no option except to allow the Yatra only from the Baltal route, at this juncture. Consequently, as per earlier announced schedule, the Yatra will be flagged off from Jammu on the 15th June only for those who have registered for the Baltal route. Thus the Yatris travelling on this route can have the Pratham Darshan on 16th June 2009.

The Board Spokesman clarified that due to the continuing rain and snowfall at several points on the traditional Pahalgam-Chandanwari route, it is not possible to open the Yatra along this route till the weather improves and the track from Sheshnag to Sangam is cleared. To enable an early decision regarding opening up of the Chandanwari-Holy Cave route the Jawahar Mountaineering Institute at Pahalgam has been requested to depute a group of trained persons to recce this route by 21st June and send a report to the Board. The Anantnag District Administration has also been asked to furnish a status report in regard to the track clearance to the Board by 21st June. Depending upon the weather and the track condition, the date of commencement of the Yatra along this route will be decided accordingly.

The Spokesman said that the pilgrims who had already registered themselves for traveling via the Pahalgam route on any date during 15-22 June may register afresh, through their respective branches of the Jammu and Kashmir Bank, to travel on the Baltal route, if they so wish, on any date convenient to them after 17th June. This shall not involve any additional payment, over and above the fee already paid by them.

On the Baltal route, the pilgrims who had registered for the 15th June shall now be allowed to proceed on either the 16th or the 17th June, along with the pilgrims who had registered for travel on the 16th or the 17th June on this route. For this purpose, the interested pilgrims may please contact the Yatra Information Centres set up by the Board at the Tourism Office, Railway Station Jammu, Yatri Niwas Jammu, Mir-Bazar, Anantnag and Tourist Reception Centre, Srinagar, on arrival.

The Spokesperson emphasized that the above arrangements are being made in the interest of the overall safety and security of the pilgrims. The Spokesperson reiterated that no unregistered Yatri, who has not secured revalidation of his earlier registration, will be permitted to proceed on Yatra. This is necessary to ensure that pilgrims are allowed on the Baltal route as per the scale and quantum of facilities available and no inconvenience or hardship is caused to any pilgrim. He stressed that ensuring the safety and security of the Yatris is one of the foremost responsibilities of both the Shrine Board and the State Government. The Spokesperson added that helicopter services will begin on 17th June, as scheduled earlier.

Click here to read more information on Shri Amarnathji Yatra.

 

50% reduction on charges levied on Tent and Shop Owners for Shri Amarnathji Yatra

Pahalgam, June 12- Governor Mr. N N Vohra, yesterday ordered 50 per cent reduction in the fee being collected by the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board from the shopkeepers and tent-owners, who are permitted to run their establishments during the Shri Amarnathji Yatra at the Base Camps of Baltal and Nunwan and other camping sites enroute the Holy Cave Shrine.

Responding to the representation made by the tent and shop owners at Pahalgam, during his visit to the Nunwan Base Camp to review the arrangements, the Governor directed the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board to charge just one rupee, as permission fee, from all the establishment holders. Apart from the permission fee, the tent owners shall be required to contribute Rs. 99/- towards an ‘Environment Fund’ which the Board proposes to set up for building a Corpus for meeting future investments in achieving preservation of the environment. Similarly, apart from the permission fee of Rs.1/-, the shopkeepers will contribute an amount of Rs.599/- towards the Environment Fund. Thus, briefly, instead of paying Rs.200/- and Rs.1200/-, the tent-wallahs and shopkeepers will now pay only Rs.100/- and Rs. 600/- respectively, and about the entire amount of collections thus made will be used for Environmental Protection.

A Spokesman of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board said that the Environment Fund will be operated only on the approval of the Governor, who is Chairman of the Board, exclusively for preservation of environment and ecology. The Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board has launched a major initiative towards safeguarding the environment and contribution of the shopkeepers, tent owners and langer organizations will be utilized for supplementing the effort.

Click here to read more information on Shri Amarnathji Yatra.

 

Sindhu Darshan Festival Inaugurated

Leh, June 12 – Chief Minister Mr. Omar Abdullah has said that Sindhu Darshan festival has proved a great success and is playing a key role in promoting tourism potential of Ladakh region. He said the region offers great power potential in solar, hydro-electric and geothermal sectors which can be tapped with the support of Union Ministry of New And Renewable Energy. The Chief Minister was speaking at Sindhu Ghat, here today, after inaugurating the Sindhu Darshan festival.

Minister for Tourism and Culture, Mr. Nawang Rigzin Jora, Political Advisor to the Chief Minister, Mr. Devender Singh Rana, Chief Executive Officer, LAHDC, Mr. Chering Dorje, Executive Councillors, LAHDC, Mr. Tsering Wangchuk, Mr. Dorje Stanzin, Mr. Mohammad Khan and Mr. Stanzin Phuntsog, Deputy Commissioner, Leh, Mr. A. K. Sahu, SSP, Leh and GoC were among hundreds of guests present at the inaugural function.

The Chief Minister said Ladakh’s rich art and cultural heritage can be dovetailed with its vast tourism potential, which together will help in attracting more and more tourists to the region. He said by flagging the tourism sector, major fillip would be provided to the art and culture, which will in turn improve the economy of the region.

Pointing towards tourism promotional measures to be taken to achieve the objectives, Mr. Abdullah stressed the need on making access to Ladakh easy by increasing frequency of flights, making flexible procedure of inner–line permits and opening of Kailash-Mansoravar pilgrimage road.

The Chief Minister said the State government has again raised the issue of opening of Kailash Yatra road with the Union Home Minister, Mr. P. Chidambaram and said the Centre would take further action on the matter.
Mr. Abdullah hoped that Ladakh will see tremendous development in the tourism sector within the next few years under Mr. Nawang Rigzin Jora. He said Ladakh’s power potential in solar, hydro and geothermal sectors would get boost by Union Ministry for New and Renewable Energy headed by Dr. Farooq Abdullah.
Mr. Jora, who also spoke on the occasion, said Sindhu Darshan provides a wonderful opportunity to explore the tourism potential of the Ladakh region. He said the festival will go a long way in stretching the tourist season here. He said the tourism sector is the economic backbone of the State and the government has accorded it utmost priority. He said major developmental activities for creating better infrastructure in all the three regions of the State are underway to provide better facilities to the visitors.

Welcoming the Chief Minister and other guests at the Sindhu Festival, Mr. Dorje said Sindhu Festival is proving a boon for domestic arrivals to Ladakh every year. Among the 75,000 tourists that visited Ladakh last year, majority of them were from within the country, he said.

The CEO LAHDC, put forth certain demands to the Chief Minister which included increase in the frequency of air services to the region, opening of Nubra Development Authority, on pattern of Zanskar Development Authority in Kargil and adequate funding for establishment of a Central Asian Museum at Leh. He hoped that Ladakh will benefit in the tourism sector during the regime of the coalition government.

Later, the Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages presented a colourful cultural programme in which diverse folk dances of the State were presented.

Click here to read more information on Sindhu Darshan Festival 2009.

Source: Government of Jammu and Kashmir, Department of Information, Press Note, June 12, 2009
 
 
 
 
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