All arrangements made for Amarnath pilgrimage

Guv releases addl quota for registration
Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, June 22: All arrangements have been made for start of annual Amarnath ji pilgrimage from June 24 here and the next day from forward base camps of Nunwan in Pahalgam and Baltal. The yatra would culminate on August 2 on the occasion of Sharawan Purnima and Raksha Bandhan.
Security and other arrangements were being given a final touch by Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB), police and security agencies and civil administration at all places including holy cave shrine of Shri Amarnath ji in South Kashmir Himalayas, twin tracks of Baltal and Nunwan, the forward base camps and Jammu Yatri Niwas.
Official sources told the Excelsior that first batch of Amarnath yatra will leave Jammu Yatri Niwas on June 24 and reach Nunwan and Baltal the same evening. They will leave for the yatra from the forward base camps on June 25.
Sources said all arrangements for the annual pilgrimage including installation of langars at different places on the tracks, base camps and other places have nearly been completed. The arrangements would be fully in place in the next two days when the pilgrimage starts.
For the past few days, weather has been behaving though it continued to rain occasionally at some places along the tracks. Most of the clearance and repair work on the two tracks has been completed. However, the workers were still engaged in clearing the tracks at some places, which had witnessed heavy snowfall this winter.
Authorities were confident that the tracks would be repaired and made fit for movement of the yatris by June 25.
About 100 companies of para-military and police personnel have been deployed for security arrangements of the yatra right from Lakhanpur, the gateway of Jammu and Kashmir, to holy cave shrine of Shri Amarnath ji in South Kashmir Himalayas. In addition, Army would man heights along the shrine to thwart any threat from the militants.
Para-military and police have been deployed in strength at Baltal and Chandanwari to ensure that the pilgrims didn’t manage to start yatra before June 25. Authorities were anticipating heavy rush of yatris including unregistered at both Nunwan and Baltal.
All arrangements have also been made at Jammu Yatri Niwas at Canal Road here from where the yatra would officially start on June 24. Some pilgrims including Sadhus have already reached Yatris Niwas while the authorities were expecting the yatris to reach here on June 23 evening, a day ahead of the first batch leaving for forward base camps.
Meanwhile, Governor N N Vohra, who is also Chairman of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, reviewed status of registration process and ongoing arrangements for the yatra  in a meeting at Raj Bhavan today.
Recognizing that on-line registration through the website of J&K Bank Ltd. has been most favoured and found convenient by the pilgrims, it was decided to release additional quota for registration through the J&K Bank website for the convenience of the pilgrims, who had not so far secured registration.
Giving details, Navin K. Choudhary, CEO, SASB said that the additional on-line registration quota has been released in order to ensure that all intending pilgrims reached the base camp only after having registered themselves.
The CEO further said that more than 3.5 lakh pilgrims have already registered till date through the branches of J&K Bank, YES Bank and 102 Post Offices in addition to on-line registration through the website of J&K Bank. He clarified that the registration process through Bank branches and Post Offices is still going on at several  places.
The CEO reiterated the Board’s appeal to the Yatris not to reach the base camps without registration as, unlike in previous years, it will not be possible for them to be able to cross the Entry-cum-Security Gates at Baltal and Nunwan base camps without the registration in their hand.
He further appealed to the Yatris to reach these base camps only on the date and for the route for which they have registered themselves. He also reminded the Yatris that the compulsory Health Certificate introduced this year has to be produced by all those Yatris who have registered themselves on-line or are traveling by helicopter.
The Yatris, who have bought helicopter tickets, their heli ticket will be considered as registration but they would not be allowed to board if they do not produce the required health certificate, duly signed and stamped by registered Medical Practitioner.


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