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Wednesday, June 24, 2009
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Amarnathji Yatra-2009

Shri Amarnath Shrine Board likely to decide tomorrow about the date for Yatra commencement from Pahalgam route.
Track between Sheshnag and Poshpathri crucial.

Pahalgam, June 24 - The Joint Team of the State Administration and the SASB completed its two-day assessment visits of the highly critical stretches of the track between Wavbal and Poshpathri this afternoon. The District Administration, Anantnag and the Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering have already submitted their reports on the status of the track.

The Joint Team, comprising the Principal Secretary to Governor and Chief Executive Officer, SASB, Mr. B. B. Vyas, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Mr Masud Samoon and Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Dr B Srinivasan, visited the track and reviewed the snow clearance works. In order to expedite the snow clearance, especially the need to carve out a bypass track over the snow avalanche near Mahagunas Top, the SASB has pressed into service additional labour to supplement the efforts of the Pahalgam Development Authority which has the responsibility to clear and operationalise the track between Pahalgam and the Holy Cave.

Taking into consideration the security and the safety of pilgrims, particularly in the wake of the unpredicted weather conditions in the entire Himalayan region, the status and condition of the track between Sheshnag and Poshpathri becomes crucial for allowing pilgrims to embark on the Yatra via the traditional route from Pahalgam. During the past two days, final touches are being given to the arrangements like supply of power and drinking water, establishment of tents, langars, prefabricated huts, toilets and baths besides availability of adequate medicare facilities, essential commodities etc.

The Joint Team interacted with the local officials, deployed on the Yatra duty at Panchtarni and Sheshnag, and discussed the status of the logistic support available at all the enroute camping sites, especially at the avalanche prone and highly snow clad portions. The team was informed that the 20-member mountaineering trained squad of the Jammu and Kashmir Police had reported at Sheshnag last evening for being positioned in two groups on either side of the Mahagunas Top to assist pilgrims and to undertake rescue operations, as and when required. The team also observed that in the event of the opening of the track, a limited number of Yatris who are physically fit and who follow the advisories on clothing, will be allowed from Pahalgam. The team also stressed the need for creating adequate awareness among the pilgrims about the weather and track conditions so that they come fully prepared to undertake the Yatra. The old and children will be advised not to undertake the Yatra, in the interest of their safety and security.

The Joint Team impressed upon the officials of various utility departments and the SASB to evolve a foolproof mechanism for making available all the required facilities to the pilgrims.

The Joint Team also visited the Holy Cave and the Baltal Base Camp to take stock of the arrangements and latest status of the Yatra from the Baltal route which took off on 16 June. A Joint Control Room has been established at the Base Camps with officials of the SASB and the Civil and Police Administration forming a Core Group for taking all Yatra related decisions on daily basis, keeping in view the track and weather conditions. The Core Group meets regularly in the morning and evening to monitor the Yatra. The Joint Team impressed upon the Core Group to strictly adhere to the Guidelines with regard to the regulation of the Yatra and adhere to the specified limit of Yatris on each day.

The Joint Team also gave instructions to the Core Group for taking effective measures in removing congestion in the Baltal Camp by moving the vehicles of Langarwallas to the idle parking site, identified outside the Camp.

The Joint Team is submitting its report to the Chairman SASB who will, most likely announce the Board’s decision tomorrow, about the date from which the Yatra will commence from Pahalgam route.

Click here to read more information on Shri Amarnathji Yatra.

Source: Government of Jammu and Kashmir, Department of Information, Press Note, June 24, 2009
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