Chairman Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board reviews arrangements for Shri Amarnath Yatris of Yatra-2010
Jammu, June 14 – The Chairman of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, Mr. N. N. Vohra, Governor Jammu & Kashmir, visited Yatri Niwas at Bhagwati Nagar, here today and took stock of the arrangements being made for the visiting Shri Amarnathji Yatris.The Governor was briefed by the concerned officers regarding the arrangements which have been already made for the Yatris in the complex and those in the pipeline.
Addressing a joint meeting of the officers and the representatives of various organisations in the complex, the Governor, who is the Chairman of the Shrine Board, reiterated the importance of ensuring the best possible arrangements for the stay and onward movement of the Yatris and particularly emphasized the need to make satisfactory arrangements in regard to water and power supply, sanitation, sewage disposal, medicare, transport etc. He asked for a daily review of the status of putting in place all the Yatra related logistical and other arrangements to ensure their completion well before the Yatra begins.
The Governor appreciated the Jammu Hotels and Lodges Association for announcing a discount of 30% in the rates of hotel accommodation payable by the pilgrims during the ensuing Shri Amarnathji Yatra.
Referring to the various suggestions made by the representatives of different organisations who participated in the meeting, the Governor said that a meeting would be taken by the Chief Executive Officer on 17th June to provide a share of the seats for helicopter bookings by the Hotel and Hospitality industry, both in Kashmir and Jammu Divisions, on the pattern of the arrangement allowed for the Travel and Trade industry. Regarding the suggestion about the sanitation fee of Rs. 15,000 which is being paid by the Langer Organisations to the SASB since 2007, he said that this would be given due consideration.
The Governor said that the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board and all the concerned agencies and Departments of the State Government are working on war footing for clearance of both the tracks from Baltal and Pahalgam to the Holy Cave as well as positioning all the logistical, security arrangements and other facilities at the Base Camps, various halting points and enroute the Holy Cave. He said that the CEO of the Board had visited Sheshnag yesterday to take stock of the track clearance work and other arrangements on the spot, adding that Mr. Goyal would be visiting the area beyond Baltal on 16th June for this purpose. The Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Dr. Kotwal and all other officers assured that all the arrangements shall be duly put in place well before the commencement of the Yatra.
The Yatra is scheduled to be flagged off from Jammu on 30th June while it will commence this year from Baltal and Pahalgam on 1st July.
The CEO of the Board disclosed on this occasion that the work on clearance of the track on both Baltal and Pahalgam routes and positioning all other logistical arrangements is in progress, and is being regularly monitored. He said that all the concerned agencies are currently engaged in ensuring the required arrangements well in time for the ensuing Yatra, which is scheduled to commence both from Baltal and Pahalgam routes on 1st July.
The CEO informed that the registration process of the pilgrims had commenced on 5th June through 121 designated branches of the J&K Bank, as against 103 Counters last year. He stated that during 5th – 13th June more than 1,01,000 persons had registered for the Yatra. He disclosed that the Board had taken a number of new initiatives to progressively improve the facilities for the visiting pilgrims. From this year, the Board is providing at its cost, and free to the Yatris, an accident insurance cover of rupees one lakh to all the registered Yatris who possess valid Yatra permits. He said that last year, a Yatri opting for an insurance cover was required to pay Rs.24 at the time of registration for availing such a facility. 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.
Mr. Goyal informed that from this year the Helicopter services for the Yatris would be available on both the two routes i.e. Baltal-Panjtarni-Baltal and Pahalgam-Panjtarni-Pahalgam. He further informed that one-way heli-fare for adults in respect of Baltal - Panjtarni and Pahalgam-Panjtarni has been fixed at Rs.2425 and Rs.3800, respectively, which is substantially lower than in the Yatra last year. The fare for children (2 to 12 years) shall be Rs.1212 and Rs.1900, respectively. 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.
Special emphasis is being laid on the preservation of the ecology and environment of the Yatra area and, for this purpose, a detailed plan has been drawn up under expert guidance to maintain cleanliness at the Base Camps in Baltal and Nunwan and enroute the Holy Cave.
The Governor was accompanied by his Principal Secretary and the Chief Executive Officer of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), Mr. Raj Kumar Goyal, Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Dr. Pawan Kotwal, Inspector General of Police, Jammu Zone, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Jammu-Kathua Range, Deputy Commissioner, Jammu, Director Tourism, Jammu and the concerned senior officers and engineers of various departments, had a round of the entire Yatri Niwas complex.