Major infra boost for Shri Amarnathji Yatra

The Union Minister and LG have announced new developments for the Shri Amarnathji pilgrimage in Jammu and Kashmir. ONGC will provide funds for the construction of the Bhawan at Sidhra, Jammu, and four more Bhawans will be constructed. The DPR for the construction of the Chandanwari-Panjtarni-Sangam Top-Baltal road is in an advanced stage and work expected to commence during the current financial year. The big announcements made are historic and reaffirm the commitment of the Government to provide the necessary support and facilities for the yatra.
This yatra is full of hardships due to the challenging terrain and weather conditions, making it physically demanding, especially for elderly. Scores of ponies die every year on this treacherous track. The Yatra takes place at high altitudes of around thirteen thousand feet, resulting in symptoms like headache, nausea, dizziness, and fatigue. Despite the proper medical certificate required for a yatra, covering a long distance on foot takes its toll every year. The weather in the region is unpredictable, with pilgrims encountering rain, snow, or extreme cold, which adds to the other difficulties of the journey. The unfortunate and tragic incident of the flash flood last year testifies to how dangerous it is for pilgrims. Pilgrims have to rely on temporary tents or shared dormitories for accommodations. The matter gets more complicated when the yatra gets halted often due to inclement weather, which leads to a large number of pilgrims, especially during peak periods. The pilgrimage is accompanied by stringent security measures to ensure the safety of pilgrims keeping in view Pakistan’s effort to bleed India at every possible opportunity.
LG has seen all these difficulties personally, and his initiatives to have proper road and other infrastructure upgrades will go a long way towards resolving all these issues permanently. A walking distance of 42 km to the holy cave will be reduced to just 2 km, overcoming major challenges related to weather, security, and health risks. The Government has already established prefabricated and tented accommodations and basic medical facilities along the entire route. More than 25 transit accommodations are available from Lakhanpur to the holy cave; more are added each year, ensuring pilgrims have suitable places to rest. With 542 bank branches dedicated to yatra registration, the process has become more convenient and efficient, allowing for a higher number of pilgrims to be registered. Mobile cell towers have been deployed, and efforts are underway to establish fibre optic connectivity, ensuring better communication facilities. These initiatives collectively contribute to enhancing the overall experience and safety of pilgrims during the yatra. Significantly all the projects are eco-friendly without causing any harm to the nature.
It is a fact that the development of necessary infrastructure for such a significant yatra was previously neglected due to political reasons, but the present administration has prioritised and expanded the scope of development work for the yatra. The announcements of new facilities have been met with great appreciation from the people. As a result, the 43-day yatra window has been elevated to provide a much-improved experience, and it is even possible to extend the duration of the yatra in the coming years.
Under the administration of the LG, significant planning and infrastructure development have been taking place at various pilgrim sites in the UT. The implementation of projects such as ropeways, bhawans, parks, and the Spiritual Growth Centre aims to enhance the overall pilgrimage experience and make it a memorable journey for the devotees. These initiatives are not only focused on immediate improvements but also hold the potential to unlock further development opportunities in the future. The success of these initiatives will pave the way for continued growth and prosperity in the region.