Annual Yatra to the Holy Cave Shrine of Shri Amarnathji in the Kashmir Himalayas commences
Srinagar (Kashmir), July 1 - The Annual Shri Amarnath Yatra 2010 to the Holy Cave Shrine of Shri Amarnathji in the Himalayas, Kashmir commenced today with the Governor, Jammu & Kashmir, Mr. N. N. Vohra, paying obeisance at the Sanctum Sanctorum and performing pratham (foremost) pooja amidst chanting of Vedic Hymns.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, Mr. Raj Kumar Goyal, who accompanied the Governor during the visit, paid obeisance at the Cave Shrine. The Governor also visited Nunwan and Baltal Base Camps for Shri Amarnath Yatra 2010 and reviewed the arrangements made to facilitate the Yatris.
The Governor visited the Holy Cave Shrine of Shri Amarnathji early in the morning and took stock of the arrangements made for the Yatris, particularly in regard to sanitation, water and power supply and other logistics put in place for the visiting Yatris.
During his visits to the Baltal and Nunwan Base Camps, the Governor particularly reviewed the arrangements relating to sanitation and re-iterated directions to the Camp Officers to ensure cleanliness in and around the Base Camps and preservation of the environment; effective regulation of the entry of Yatris into the Camp and their onward movement to the Holy Cave. On arrival at Pahalgam, the Governor went around the Nunwan Base Camp and reviewed all the arrangements put in place for ensuring a smooth Yatra.
The Yatris of Shri Amarnath Yatra, without exception, appreciated the facilities put in place by the Shrine Board and the State Government agencies and thanked the Security Forces for facilitating their pilgrimage.
The Board has also issued a detailed advisory of Do’s and Don’ts for the Yatris visiting the Holy Cave Shrine of Shri Amarnathji, which are printed on the reverse of the Yatra Permit. The Yatris need to strictly adhere to these Do’s and Don’ts as they have to undertake an arduous trek through high mountains with adverse weather conditions.
As a consequence of the several new initiatives taken by the Board to bring progressive improvement in the Yatra management, all the registered pilgrims have been provided free accident insurance cover of rupees one lakh. The insurance policy has the provision of free of charge accident insurance cover of Rs. one lakh for every Yatri who possesses a Yatra Permit. The entire expenditure for drawing this insurance cover is being borne by the Board. In Yatra 2009, a Yatri seeking an accident insurance cover was required to pay Rs. 24 at the time of registration for the Yatra.
This year, an accidental insurance cover has also been provided, with the support from the State Government, to all the registered labourers deployed during the Yatra, as well as for the pony owners, in case their horse/pony is involved in an accidental death. This scheme is aimed to benefit about 20,000 labourers and 7,000 pony owners, almost all of whom belong to the economically weaker sections of the society.