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Jammu & Kashmir - Current Events
Thrusday, July 02, 2009
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Shri Amarnathji Yatra 2009
8000 perform darshan on Wednesday

Ex-gratia relief for two porters killed in a landslide

Srinagar, July 2 - Governor, Mr. N. N. Vohra, in his capacity as Chairman, Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), today sanctioned an ex-gratia relief of Rs. 50,000 each in favour of the next of the kin of two porters killed in a landslide incident near Railpathri on the Baltal-Holy Cave route on 17 June, 2009.

It may be recalled that Ghulam Rasool, 55, son of Abdul Rasool Wani, resident of Darbagh Kangan, and Riyaz Ahmad, 25, son of Abdul Gani Gujjar of village Mude, Budhal, Rajouri, had died in a landslide incident at Kachi Morh, Railpathri, on the second day of the commencement of this year’s Yatra from the Baltal route.

According to a Spokesperson of SASB, the ex-gratia relief has been sanctioned as a special dispensation since the porters were not registered with the Labour Department and were, therefore, not eligible for obtaining an insurance cover of Rs. 50,000 each as is available to all porters who are duly registered with the Labour Department. He said that the Governor has directed for providing financial assistance to the bereaved families of these victims on compassionate grounds keeping in view the most useful contribution made by the Pithu and Ponywalas in facilitating the Yatra. During his visit to the Baltal Base Camp, a few days before the unfortunate mishap, the Governor had impressed upon the officers of the Labour Department to register all the Pithu and Ponywalas and also ensure their insurance coverage.

Meanwhile, 7983 pilgrims performed darshan at the Holy Cave Shrine of Shri Amarnathji on Wednesday. The Yatra had to be suspended for some time yesterday afternoon in view of rains and snowfall in the Holy Cave periphery.

As the weather showed signs of improvement this morning, the Yatra to the Holy Cave resumed from both the Base Camps, of Pahalgam and Baltal, after the local authorities reviewed the condition of the tracks and the weather. A batch of 3240 pilgrims left Baltal Base Camp by 9 a.m. while 1417 pilgrims proceeded for the Yatra on the traditional route of Pahalgam.
According to a report received from Jammu, a contingent of 1437 Yatris left Jammu today for the Amarnathji Yatra via Nunwan and Baltal.

Click here to read more information on Shri Amarnathji Yatra.


Over 4.31 lakh devotees visit Shiv Khori
during the first half of year 2009

Reasi, July 02 - Over 4,31,601 pilgrims from within the state and other parts of the country paid obeisance at the historic Shiv Khori Shrine in Reasi district, during first six months of the current calendar year. This was disclosed by the District Development Commissioner (DDC), Reasi, who is also the Vice Chairman of Shri Shiv Khori Shrine Board at Reasi today.
This number is 1,27,388 more than that registered during the corresponding period last year, when about 3,03,413 pilgrims had darshans of the natural Shiv Lingam in the cave shrine.

The yatra touched the mark of one lakh pilgrims during June this year, which is a record. Last year, as many as 93,031 pilgrims had darshan of the Shiv Khori Shrine during month of June. There has been an increase of about 6,969 pilgrims who paid obeisance at the shrine in the month of June this year over last year.

With Shiv Khori Shrine emerging as the second largest pilgrimage destination in Reasi district after Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine, the area is now becoming a major religious tourism hub in the state. To facilitate the visiting pilgrims, Shri Shiv Khori Shrine Board is providing adequate infrastructural facilities to the yatris right from the base camp village, Ransoo to the Cave shrine. A number of development works like five multi-storied waiting halls are coming up near the cave at an estimated cost of Rs.1.90 crore and are expected to complete by October, 2009. On completion, it would provide additional accommodation facilities to about 1000 pilgrims at a time.
Other development works like Sarai at Ransoo, shelter sheds & toilet blocks all along the way, development of parks and gardens, plantation of medicinal plants, additional accommodation at the Tourist Reception Centre at Ransoo etc are also under execution.

A Tourist Reception Centre is already available at Ransoo, base camp of Shiv Khori Shrine for the facility of visiting pilgrims and additional accommodation facilities are being constructed for the meeting the lodging needs in future.

Click here to read more information on Shiv Khori.

Source: Government of Jammu and Kashmir, Department of Information, Press Note, July 02, 2009
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