SRINAGAR — This year’s Amarnath pilgrimage will be historic in the history of Jammu and Kashmir as six to eight lakh pilgrims are expected to perform the Darshan of Shiv Lingam at the Cave shrine of Amarnath in Pahalgam area of the southern district of Anantnag, Secretary of Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Apurva Chand said on Monday.
Talking to reporters in Srinagar, Chand, as per news agency Kashmir News Observer (KNO), said that this year Amarnath Yatra will be one of the biggest yatras in history of J&K as around 6-8 lakh pilgrims are expected to arrive on the pilgrimage.
“Today, I met the officials of the administration including Divisional Commissioner and Deputy Commissioners. We were told that this year it will be a historic pilgrimage and for that, all the necessary arrangements have been put in place,” Chand said.
He said that so far the weather challenge was natural and out of the hands of officials. “But as far as security arrangement is concerned, that has already improved a lot as seen by the number of tourists visiting the Valley. Hotels, houseboats and lodges are booked in advance which signifies a good security atmosphere,” Chand said.
He said that LG J&K Manoj Sinha has recently stated that in just a few months, 80 lakh tourists visited UT, which is a record number. “This itself hints that the atmosphere is peaceful,” he said.
He said that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has urged the J&K administration to prepare a short documentary on Amarnath Yatra and also the beautiful places of Kashmir. “We will widely circulate that documentary across the country and outside,” he said.
Registration for Amarnath Yatra 2022 begins
The registration for Annual Shri Amarnath Yatra, in the Himalayan heights, has begun throughout the country and abroad including Jammu with many enthusiastic pilgrims getting their registration done on the very first day.
The Yatra is set to resume after over two years, which was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic across the country.
The pilgrimage to the Himalayan cave shrine will commence on June 30 and conclude on August 11.
As per news agency Kashmir News Observer (KNO), in Jammu, many pilgrims thronged PNB branches where the special arrangement was conducted for the registration.
The Board is expecting an average footfall of more than three lakh pilgrims in the shrine this year.
Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, Nitishwar Kumar said that the registration will start at 446 branches of Jammu and Kashmir Bank, Punjab National Bank, Yes Bank, and 100 branches of SBI across the country.
He said the pilgrims can also register online through the website and mobile app of the shrine Board.
Nitishwar Kumar said that a Yatri Niwas is being readied in the Ramban district which can accommodate 3600 pilgrims.
The Amarnath Shrine Board is expecting a footfall of more than three lakh pilgrims this year.
He said the Board has decided to start Yatra from both Pahalgam and Baltal routes simultaneously. The shrine Board CEO said only 10,000 pilgrims will be allowed in a day on each route, excluding those travelling by helicopter.
Nitishwar Kumar said the government will introduce a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system for pilgrims to track their movement.
The Amarnath Yatra could not be held in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even in 2019, the Yatra was suspended a few days before August 5, when the Centre abrogated Article 370 and revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, dividing the state into two union territories.