Amarnath Yatra 2018
An aerial view of route for pilgrims during Amarnath Yatra 2018

PAHALGAM — Around 50,000 pilgrims have so far performed the ongoing Amarnath Yatra and visited the holy cave shrine as the fifth batch of 6,597 pilgrims left Bhagwati Nagar base camp in Jammu on Tuesday for the Valley, officials said.

An official told the news agency KNO that since the commencement of the Yatra on July 1, as many as 49,212 people have completed it till 07:00 pm including 13,581 who paid obeisance at the cave shrine on Tuesday.

They said 6,597 pilgrims, including 4,975 male pilgrims, 1,429 women, 160 seers and 33 children left the Bhagwati Nagar base camp here for the valley in 253 light and heavy vehicles.

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“4,475 pilgrims, headed for Pahalgam, in a convoy of 160 vehicles for the valley, while another convoy of 93 vehicles carrying 2,122 pilgrims was the first to leave for the Baltal base camp,” officials said.

Foolproof security arrangements are in place for a smooth and safe Yatra, he added.

Pilgrims expressed satisfaction with the efforts put forth by the authorities; they said cleanliness, sanitation and maintenance of tracks are better.

“This is my 30th Amarnath Yatra and for the first time, the tracks leading to the cave are in better condition as we left early morning but it was like a mid-day because of lights installed on the route. Overall, the facilities are excellent,” said Mitlaish Bhatia, a 59-year-old pilgrim.

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Meanwhile, CRPF Director General (DG) Sujoy Lal Thaosen reviewed security arrangements for the ongoing Shri Amarnath Yatra in Jammu on Tuesday. He visited Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas and interacted with the devotees and took their feedback.

“Continuing with his review of SANJY security arrangements amidst his visit to Baltal, @sthaosen, DG @crpfindia, accompanied the convoy from Bhagwati Nagar. He saw firsthand the exchange of the convoy at Lamber, Banihal before proceeding ahead to Qazigund & Mirbazar camps,” CRPF said in a tweet.

Pertinently, the Traffic Department has issued a detailed travel advisory to facilitate the pilgrim vehicles on cut-off timings.

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