Amarnath Yatra 2011 dates
June 29 to August 13, 2011
Jammu, February 18: Annual pilgrimage to Holy Cave Shrine of Shri Amarnath ji in South Kashmir Himalayas would start on June 29, 2011 and conclude on August 13, 2011 on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan and Shravan Purnima. A decision for Shri Amarnath Yatra 2011 dates & duration was taken in a meeting of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) held in New Delhi today. Governor, Jammu & Kashmir Shri. N N Vohra, who happens to be chairman of the SASB, chaired the meeting that lasted three and a half hours.
In another significant decision, the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board decided to enhance Heli capacity for the pilgrims during Amarnath Yatra 2011 and reduced one way fare from Pahalgam to Panjtarni from last year’s Rs 3800 to Rs 3495 this year per adult passenger and from Rs 1900 to Rs 1745 for children in the age group of two to 12 years.
"Enhancement in heli-capacity for Pahalgam-Panjtarni sector would further boost economic benefits to local stake holders including the tourism, travel, transport, hotel and restaurant owners associations’’, official sources said, adding that last year, about 5000 yatris had availed the helicopter facility on Pahalgam-Panjtarni route. The meeting was attended by the Board Members, Sri Sri Ravi Shanker, Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan, Justice (Rtd.) G. D. Sharma, Dr. (Ms.) Sunita Narayan, Shri Vijay Dhar and Dr. (Prof.) Ved Kumari Ghai. Besides, Shri R. K. Goyal, Chief Executive Officer and Shri Saugat Biswas, Addl. Chief Executive Officer, attended the meeting.
The Board expressed satisfaction about the arrangements made for the conduct of Shri Amarnathji Yatra 2010 and particularly appreciated the measures taken for environmental protection, including the operation of two Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs), based on the eco-friendly biological treatment, at the Baltal and Nunwan Base Camps. The Board desired that these protection measures should be sustained and progressively upgraded for the future Yatras. The Board was informed that a Comprehensive Plan had been drawn up in this regard, in consultation with an eminent Environmentalist and Director, Centre for Science and Environment, Delhi, who is also a a member of the Board.
Referring to the helicopter service from Pahalgam to Panjtarni, which was started in 2009 on experimental basis for about two weeks before the conclusion of Yatra, the Board noted with satisfaction that the heli service on the Pahalgam - Panjtarni route, during Amarnath Yatra 2011, had generated an encouraging response from over 5000 Yatris, who availed of this service. Based on this experience and to satisfy the increasing demand, it has been decided to enhance the available Heli-capacity for Amarnath Yatra 2011 and, simultaneously, the one way fare from Pahalgam to Panjtarni stands reduced from Rs. 3800/- to Rs. 3495/- per adult passenger and for children of 2-12 years of age is reduced from Rs.1900/- to Rs.1745/-. It was observed that the enhancement in the heli-capacity for the Pahalgam-Panjtarni sector would further boost the economic benefits to the local stake holders.
While deliberating the need for evolving a pragmatic schedule for the annual Amarnath Yatra 2011, the Board took note of the fact that while Shravan Purnima / Raksha Bandhan fell on 24th August in 2011, it falls on 13th August in 2011. The Board noted that during the 2010 Yatra, despite vigorous efforts to carry out snow clearance operations on the Chandanwari – Sheshnag – MG Top – Panjtarni – Holy Cave axis, the route could become fit for movement only around end June. It was also noted that during Yatra 2009, despite sustained hectic efforts to clear the tracks of snows, the Yatris had faced severe difficulties for the initial 10-12 days, particularly on the Chandanwari route. The Board also took note that the annual schedule of the Yatra in the past 15 years had varied from 15 to 60 days and that about 85% of the pilgrims complete the Yatra within 30 days of the commencement date.
Once the snow-melt had commenced, the J&K State Police, Central Police Forces, Army and each of the concerned J&K State Government Departments would require adequate time to establish the required security and logistical support arrangements for the Yatra, the Chief Executive Officer of the Board was desired to timely commence the registration of pilgrims and ensure the effective management of the Yatra which would commence on 29th June and conclude on 13th August 2011.
The Board noted that a good number of pilgrims lose their lives every year owing to medical reasons, particularly due to Cardiac failure, during the annual Shri Amarnathji pilgrimage 45 and 68 persons lost their lives in the 2009 and 2010 Yatras, respectively. The Board desired that a very strong advisory should be issued to the intending Yatris to undergo a proper medical check-up to assess their fitness for undertaking the arduous Amarnath Yatra 2011.
The Board desired the Chief Executive Officer to generate adequate awareness amongst the people about the difficult nature of the Yatra through appropriate features in the print and electronic media. In this context, the Board urged all sections of media to provide whole hearted support, in the larger interest of the pilgrimage.
The Board also stressed the need for propagating greater awareness, among the people at large, about the requirement of securing prior registration before embarking on the pilgrimage. It was observed that the Registration process should commence timely, well ahead of the commencement date of the Yatra.
The Board noted with satisfaction that the initiatives taken during 2010 Yatra in regard to the Group Insurance Cover to Yatris, Ponywallahs, labourers, Dandiwallahs and Ponies are being taken forward for this year’s Yatra. In this context, the Chief Executive Officer informed that each Registered Yatri, Labourer, Ponywallah and Dandiwallah is being extended a Group Accident Insurance Cover for Rs. one lakh and necessary arrangements have since been firmed up with M/s New India Assurance Company. The Board was further informed that on the directions of the Governor, the amount of Insurance Cover for the ponies has been enhanced from Rs. 20,000/- in 2010 to Rs. 25,000/- this year, for the benefit of the ponywallahs who loose their animals in accidents during the Yatra.
The Board was apprised of the efforts being made to suitably upgrade the telecommunication facilities in the Yatra area this year. In this context, at the instance of the Governor, the Union Secretary, Department of Telecommunications had chaired a high level meeting last month to finalise an Action Plan, for providing improved mobile connectivity in the entire Yatra area this year.