PM, HM took special interest in yatra arrangements: LG

‘Manifold increase in facilities this year’

Pilgrimage success responsibility of locals also

Sanjeev Pargal

JAMMU, June 28: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said today that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah have taken special interest in finalizing arrangements for Shri Amarnath Ji pilgrimage as he maintained that economy of Jammu and Kashmir will get big boost with revival of yatra after two years.
Addressing a function after virtual inauguration of facilities for the pilgrims at Ramban from Jammu Convention Centre late this evening, Sinha lauded the Prime Minister and the Home Minister for their support in making arrangements for the yatris.
He said that children below the age of five and elderly citizens above 70 shouldn’t undertake the yatra. Earlier, the children below three and elders above 75 were not allowed for the yatra.
“This year, we have created accommodation for 1,26,570 pilgrims as against 69,700 previously while 8480 tents have been installed as compared to 3530 earlier, There have been 8118 toilets this year while previously the number was 5456. A total of 147 resting places have been established in Jammu and Srinagar,” Sinha said listing enhanced facilities for pilgrimage this year.
Describing the pilgrimage as not only religious, Sinha said it is a source of prosperity for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Don’t link the yatra with any religion. The yatra is source of economy for lakhs of people. Pilgrims from all corners of the country will come for yatra and they should return with good impression,” the Lieutenant Governor said.
Urging people not to spread rumours, he referred to a Social Media post of a hoarding and saying no one should spread misinformation.
“Success of the yatra is not only responsibility of the administration but that of local people also,” Sinha said.
Asserting that thousands of families which are directly dependent on Shri Amarnath Ji pilgrimage suffered due to no yatra during last two years, he said with Baba’s blessings all steps have been taken for smooth pilgrimage which will boost economy of Jammu and Kashmir and lead to prosperity of the people.
Sinha said the DRDO has also set up one hospital each at base camps of Pahalgam and Baltal and 391 doctors have been deployed for yatra duty besides the paramedical staff.
“This is also time to revive brotherhood,” he added.
The Lieutenant Governor said he has visited a number of places and the administration has worked a lot to make very good arrangements for the pilgrims.
He said the pilgrims will also get post paid SIM cards, if required.
Earlier, the Lieutenant Governor e-inaugurated Shri Amarnath Shrine Board Yatri Niwas at Chanderkote in Ramban district. The state-of-the-art facilities with a capacity of 3630 pilgrims will provide huge relief and comfort to the pilgrims of Shri Amarnath Ji yatra, a tweet by Office of LG J&K said.
The Lt Governor said that today’s inauguration of Chanderkote Yatri Niwas is an important link in the efforts of administration to organize a grand Yatra this year.
“The state-of-the-art facility, with a capacity of 3600 pilgrims, will provide huge relief and comfort to the pilgrims of Shri Amarnath Ji Yatra”, he added.
He observed that this picturesque Yatri Niwas spread over 23 kanals is an important stop in the journey of Baba Barfani and every effort has been made to equip the facility with all modern amenities.
“The project completed at a cost of Rs.47.00 crore is one of the fastest projects completed in the UT. Immediately after the site was finalized, the work on execution of the project was entrusted to CPWD in the month of April 2021 and has been completed in 14 months record time,” he said.
The Yatri Niwas has a cluster of 17 dormitories in G+2 dimensions with all modern facilities and features including barrier free environment, modern toilets, fire extinguisher equipments, signages, LED down lighters etc. in all dormitories.
Acknowledging the commitment of all those engaged with the construction of Yatri Niwas, tackling various constraints owing to geography and terrain, Sinha congratulated the engineers, workers, and officials for their tremendous efforts.
The Lt Governor also expressed his gratitude to IIT Roorkee for making a significant contribution in the completion of this project.
“I have been personally monitoring all the arrangements. This year, facilities have been developed for accommodation of passengers at 8 places in the Yatra Holding Area”, he said.
The Lt Governor said improvements have been made across the board to enhance the holding capacities, provide best-in-class medical, sanitation, and lodging facilities, and in many firsts, offering pilgrims the convenience of performing Yatra in a single day by starting helicopter services on new routes.
“For the convenience of the Yatris reaching Jammu, camps have been set up at the Airport, Railway Station and Bus Stand, which will issue RFID tags on the basis of travel slip and identity card. Further, new shelter sheds have been built on Baltal and Pahalgam Axis. Enhanced medical facilities have been made operational to cater emergency needs of Yatris.
“The facility of battery car will be provided to the passengers for the distance of 2.3 kms of Baltal and Domel and optical fiber cable has been laid on the entire route of the Yatra to provide dedicated telecom connectivity to the pilgrims,” Sinha said.
The Lt Governor said that the Amarnathji Shrine Board Android mobile App has been revamped and launched in 5 languages- Hindi, English, Punjabi, Gujarati and Telugu to facilitate Yatris with up to date information, advisories etc.
It was informed that the duty officers deputed have been given training about the SOPs of all services related to covid, health, cleanliness, waste management, monitoring of travel, food and prasad. Further, disaster related facilities have also been duly planned and mock drills have also been conducted regularly to tackle any eventuality.
Jugal Kishore Sharma, Member Parliament; Chander Mohan Gupta, Mayor Jammu; DDC Chairpersons of Jammu, Ramban, prominent personalities and religious leaders, former legislators, representatives of Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CCI), Traders Federation, besides senior administrative officers and other concerned were present on the occasion.
Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary; Mukesh Singh, ADGP, Jammu; Ramesh Kumar, Divisional Commissioner Jammu; Mussarat Islam, Deputy Commissioner, Ramban and Avny Lavasa, Deputy Commissioner, Jammu were also present.