Registration for Shri Amarnathji Yatra – 2010
to commence on 5th June
Srinagar (Kashmir), June 1 - This year’s Yatra to the Holy Shrine of Shri Amarnathji in Jammu and Kashmir will commence from Baltal and Pahalgam on 1st July, 2010 and conclude on Raksha Bandhan on 24th August, 2010.
According to Shri R. K. Goyal, Chief Executive Officer of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), the registration of the Yatris for this year’s Yatra will commence on 5th June, 2010, from Registration Counters established in 121 designated Branches of the J&K Bank, located all over the country. The details of these Branches are available on the Board’s Website (www.shriamarnathjishrine.com). Because of the longer distance and travel time, the registration of pilgrims from the Pahalgam route will not be allowed after 22nd August, 2010; the registration in respect of the Baltal route, which is much shorter, will close on the 23rd August, 2010. The registration will be done on “First-Come-First-Serve Basis”. The Registration Counters at the designated Branches of the J&K Bank shall remain open from 3 PM to 6 PM on all working week days and 1 PM to 4 PM on all working Saturdays during the aforesaid period of Registration. This year, the number of designated Registration Counters has been increased to 121, from 103 last year.
For effective security arrangements, no Yatri will be allowed to enter or proceed beyond the Base Camps unless he is in possession of a valid Yatra Permit for a specified date and route. In this context, the C.E.O appealed to all those who intend to undertake the pilgrimage to complete the necessary formalities for registration and timely obtain a Yatra Permit, in their own interest, so that no inconvenience is faced by any Yatri with regard to the date of his / her Yatra and the route to be followed. CEO informed that this year all the labourers, pony and pithuwallahs are also being provided Photo Identity Cards, for effective security.
For the purpose of Registration the requisite Application Form can be collected from any of the designated J&K Bank Branches, across the country, or downloaded from the Board’s website (www.shriamarnathjishrine.com).
Registration will be done through a Yatra Permit which will be issued on the submission of the Application Form, duly filled in, along with the payment of handling charges of Rs.15/- per Yatri. While this charge has remained the same as recovered for Yatra 2009, a significant change is that this year, the Board is providing, free of cost to the Yatri, an Accidental Insurance Cover of Rupees one lakh to all Registered Yatris who possess valid Yatra permits. For this purpose the Shrine Board has concluded an agreement with the New India Assurance Company Limited. Last year, a Yatri opting for an Insurance cover was required to pay a sum of Rs.24/- at the time of registration.
The Board has also completed the required formalities to provide similar Accidental Insurance Cover to all the Registered Labourers deployed during the Yatra and is in the process of extending a similar facility for the Pony owners in case their pony is involved in an accidental death. The Board thanks the State Government for providing the funds required to provide such insurance cover to the labourers and pony owners. This decision was taken in a recent discussion between the Board Chairman, Shri N. N. Vohra, and the Chief Minister, Shri Omar Abdullah. The Board undertook to handle the entire processing work to conclude the requisite agreement with the Assurance Company.
The Yatris can also register online via the website (http://yatra.jkbank.net) of the J&K Bank. This facility has been provided particularly for the benefit of those persons who may not have ready access to any of the 121 designated Registration Counters of the J&K Bank.
The aforesaid decisions were taken in an extensive meeting held yesterday by the Shrine Board Chairman, Shri N. N. Vohra with Shri R. K. Goyal, Chief Executive Officer, Shri Saugat Biswas, Additional Chief Executive Officer and all the other concerned officers. The Chairman appealed to the pilgrims to strictly adhere to the announced Yatra schedule and, under no circumstances whatsoever, venture on the arduous track ahead of the date for which they are registered for the Yatra. He also urged the Yatris, before commencing Yatra, to most carefully read the instructions (Do’s and Dont’s) which are printed on the reverse of the Yatra Permit and are also available at the Board’s website. In this context, the C.E.O., Shri Goyal, referred to the precious lives lost last year and cautioned that no person who has a serious medical or orthopaedic ailment, or any breathing, chest or heart problem, must undertake this arduous Yatra. He noted that from this year every pilgrim has been required to provide a self-certification that he/she is fit to undertake the arduous Yatra, which involves climbing upto 13,500 feet.
Shri Goyal informed that the helicopter services for the Yatris who wish to avail of such facilities would be available on each of the two routes viz. Baltal - Panjtarni – Baltal and Pahalgam – Panjtarni- Pahalgam. The one way heli-fare for Baltal- Panjtarni and Pahalgam-Panjtarni has been fixed at Rs. 2425/- and Rs. 3800/-, respectively. Children, between the age of 2-12 years, will be required to pay half the aforesaid prices. The booking/ reservation of helicopter seats would commence shortly via two modes: Online Booking or through the Travel Agents operating in Jammu and Kashmir, Divisions. Full details of the booking procedure shall be notified on the Board’s website in the next few days. He further disclosed that from Panjtarni the Yatris would need to travel a hilly track of about 6 kms., on foot, Ponies or Palkies, as per their wish, to reach the Holy Cave Shrine. The C.E.O. noted that the helicopter fares this year are substantially lower than those in Yatra 2009. He further clarified that, to reduce inconvenience and delays, the Yatris who travel by helicopter would not be required to separately obtain Yatra Permits as their required details would have been recorded before issue of helicopter tickets which would serve as Yatra Permits.
Notwithstanding the continuing rain and snowfall in the past two weeks the Shrine Board and each of the various concerned Government Agencies have been engaged, round the clock in making the required arrangements at the Base Camps and along both the routes to the Cave Shrine. Special emphasis is being laid on the preservation of the ecology and environment of the Yatra area. A detailed plan has been drawn up, under the expert guidance of Dr. Sunita Narain, an eminent Environmentalist and the Member of the Shrine Board, to maintain cleanliness at the Base Camps in Baltal and Nunwan and enroute the Holy Cave. It is planned to launch a concerted campaign to effectively prohibit the use of plastic bags / materials. Further, shedders are being installed at both the Base Camps for shredding all plastic materials collected by workers engaged by the Board. The CEO stated that well planned arrangements are being implemented on the ground for the treatment of sewage wastes on scientific lines. The CEO appealed to the Yatris not to use polythene bags, sachets and food packets as the use of polythene is totally banned and any infringement of this regulation shall result in placing the violator in avoidable difficulty. The Shrine Board is arranging for the supply, at the shops in the Base Camps and at the Holy Cave, suitably sized jute bags for use by the Yatris.