Shri Amarnathji Yatra

SRINAGAR — Welcoming the pilgrims with the message of love and peace, Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) on Wednesday said that this year, the pilgrimage will be the longest ever that would last for 62 days and so far 3,0,4000 pilgrims have registered which is 10 percent more than the previous year.

Addressing a press conference here, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SASB, Dr Mandeep Kumar Bhandari said that the Shrine Board and the UT administration are fully ready to welcome Yatris open-heartedly from July 1 onwards.

“The Yatra will last till August 31. This year’s pilgrimage will last for 62 days and will be the longest ever so far,” Bhandari said, as per the news agency KNO. He said so far 3,0,4000 pilgrims have registered with the Board through various modes of registration available. “The figure is 10 percent more than the last year,” he said.

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He said that Yatris up to the age of 70 years can perform the pilgrimage. “Yatra can be performed from two routes—Baltal which involves 14.5 km trekking and from Chandanwari where from Yatris have to trek 32 km upto the cave shrine,” the CEO SASB said.

He said that Yatris will perform the Darshan of ice-lingum at the height of 13000 feet. “This year, Yatra tracks on both the routes have been widened and hand railings have been installed.”

With the help of grid supply, Baltal track has been illuminated and with the supply from generator set, Chandanwari track has been illuminated too so that if any pilgrims get stuck during the night, he/she can walk smoothly,” he said.

The CEO said that on both tracks, a proper drinking water supply has been ensured. He said that 440 beds have been kept at both base camps to deal with the pilgrims who suffer from high altitude sickness. “Internet and calling facilities have been ensured for pilgrims enroute cave shrine from both tracks,” he said, adding that 4000 sanitary workers have been employed to collect trash and dispose of the same at base camps.

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“At various vulnerable points, helmets have been made available for the pilgrims so that they can protect themselves from shooting stones and landslides during heavy rains,” the CEO said, adding that mountain rescue teams have been deployed enroute cave shrine for quick evacuation.

He said that no pilgrim will be allowed to stay at the cave shrine for a night stay. “No pilgrim will be allowed to proceed for pilgrimage without RFID chips,” the CEO said, adding that a tent facility to accommodate 70,000 pilgrims have been put in place.

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