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Jammu Kashmir

Posted at: Jun 14, 2018, 12:43 AM; last updated: Jun 14, 2018, 12:43 AM (IST)

Guv reviews Amarnath yatra arrangements

Guv reviews Amarnath yatra arrangements
Pilgrims on their way to the Amarnath shrine. Tribune file photo

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, June 13

Governor NN Vohra, also the chairman of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, on Wednesday reviewed the arrangements being made for the annual pilgrimage scheduled to commence on June 28.

The Governor reviewed the issues relating to the restoration of the tracks on both the routes and installation of safety railings at the various identified vulnerable stretches, particularly on the Railpathri-Brarimarg-Kali Mata track. He was informed about the logistical facilities being arranged for the yatra, particularly those relating to power, water supply and medical facilities in the entire area. It was reported that the Army, the CRPF and the state police formations have started reaching the areas of the upper yatra camps.

Umang Narula, Principal Secretary to Governor and chief executive officer (CEO) of the shrine board; Bhupinder Kumar, additional CEO; RK Pandita, general manager (works); and other officers concerned attended the review meeting held at Raj Bhawan on Wednesday.

Narula informed the Governor that to date, as many as 1,91,073 pilgrims had secured advance registration through the designated branches of Punjab National Bank, J&K Bank and Yes Bank, besides under the group registration facility and that for ex-India pilgrims. This number includes 17,208 yatris who have obtained chopper tickets till June 12.

The CEO said around 529 new toilets (286 Indian and 243 European) and 100 bathrooms were being installed for this year’s yatra. Also, a total of 2,750 toilets and 516 bathrooms are being installed by the board at the yatra camps and en route (along with appropriate waste disposal facility) for the convenience of the pilgrims.

For discouraging the use of plastic bottles, 52 stainless steel water storage tanks/water dispensers are being installed at the yatra camps and on the entire route. For easier collection of used water bottles, the shrine board is installing 80 bottle catchers at conspicuous locations along the yatra route. The plastic bottles are brought down and shredded at the base camps of Nunwan and Baltal. The board shall also propagate the use of cloth bags as an alternative to polythene in the yatra area. In order to keep the area clean and promote the segregation of wastes into biodegradable and non-biodegradable, the shrine board shall install 1,465 colour-coded dustbins (293 yellow coloured for medical wastes, 586 blue ones for biodegradable waste and 586 green ones for non-biodegradable waste) with pictorial signs on the yatra route.

The CEO also informed the Governor about the arrangements being made by the divisional administration of Kashmir for dealing with any disaster situation and the deployment of mountain rescue teams of the J&K Armed Police, avalanche rescue teams of the State Disaster Response Force, Central Reserve Police Force and National Disaster Response Force in the yatra area. In this context, he apprised Vohra about the table top and mock exercises to be conducted by the National Disaster Management Authority at Baltal and Pahalgam from June 19 to 25.

Consequent to the review, the Governor directed the CEO to take urgent action to ensure complete registration of ponies, ponywallas, dandiwallas and palkiwallas and see that no unauthorised person embarks on the yatra tracks. Arrangements regarding the provision of safety measures at the Baltal and Nunwan base camps, particularly fire and emergency services, were also reviewed.

The Governor said the senior state government officers deployed as camp directors, additional camp directors and deputy camp directors should be particularly sensitised about their responsibility to ensure sanitation in the yatra area and they should undertake daily monitoring of cleanliness in their respective jurisdictions.

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