Shri Amarnathji Yatra-2012
Governor, Chief Minister for advance planning to provide safe, secure and comfortable Yatra
Srinagar ( Kashmir), October 21: A High Powered Committee was constituted today to review the presently available pilgrimage related facilities and evolve well considered recommendations for the upgradation and enlargement of the infrastructural facilities for the annual Shri Amarnathji Yatra.
A decision to this effect was taken at a high level meeting convened by Mr. N. N. Voha, Governor, who is the Chairman of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, to discuss with Mr. Omar Abdullah, Chief Minister, various important issues, relating to the management of next year's Yatra, which had been identified in the post Yatra Review Meeting which had been convened by the Governor on 16th August 2011.
Besides the Chief Minister, the Governor had also invited the Ministers of some of the Departments which play a very significant role in the arrangement of the Yatra. Mian Altaf Ahmad, Minister for Forests, Mr. Nawang Rigzin Jora, Minister for Tourism and Culture, Mr. Sham Lal Sharma, Minister for Health, and Mr. Nasir Aslam Wani, Minister of State for Home and Tourism participated in the deliberations.
Consequent to detailed discussions it was decided to set up a High Powered Committee comprising Mr. B. R. Sharma, Principal Secretary, Home, Mr. Kuldeep Khoda, Director General of Police, Mr. B. B. Vyas, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister and Principal Secretary Planning, Mr. Sudhanshu Pandey, Commissioner/Secretary, Finance and Mr. R. K. Goyal, Principal Secretary to the Governor and Chief Executive Officer of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board. Mr. Goyal will be the Convener of this Committee which will assess the adequacy of the existing infrastructure facilities and prepare a well considered Action Plan regarding the enlargement/upgradation of existing infrastructure and the establishment of new facilities for ensuring the pilgrims a safe and satisfying Yatra. All the aforesaid officers took part in the meeting.
Addressing the meeting, the Governor referred to the over 40% increase in the Yatra 2011, over the pilgrimage in 2010, and emphasized the need for advance planning being undertaken to timely provide the pilgrim-specific facilities. The meeting agreed that, keeping in view the loss of 107 lives during Yatra 2011, it was necessary to identifying and implement appropriate measures for improving the regulation of the pilgrimage. It was noted that because of the very difficult terrain and unpredictable weather conditions, precious lives had been lost in the last Yatra mainly due to cardiac ailments. In this context, the Shrine Board would shortly be launching a media campaign to enlarge awareness about the need for every potential Yatri possessing the desired level of physical fitness. This campaign, to be launched before end of December 2011, would, interalia, focus on every pilgrim, in his own interest, undergoing a medical check up before commencing the Yatra.
The meeting discussed, interalia, the need for improvement of the tracks, particularly the very difficult stretches from Chandanwari to the Holy Cave for safe and hassle-free movement of Yatris and enhancing the carrying capacity of the route and establishment of additional Shelter-cum-Toilet Units on both Baltal and Chandanwari routes to ensure greater comfort for the pilgrims in the event of adverse weather conditions and other exigencies.
Other matters which were discussed included upgradation and strengthening of medicare facilities for the Yatris at the Base Camps, Camps enroute and in the Holy Cave area and augmentation of drinking water and power supply. Special emphasis was laid on the effective management of the flow of pilgrims across the Check Barriers at Chandanwari and Domel and strengthening of Access Control systems at all the Camp locations.