Shri Amarnath pilgrimage will benefit locals, boost economy: LG

LG Manoj Sinha attending ‘Pratham Puja’ of Shri Amarnath Ji through video conferencing in Srinagar on Saturday.
LG Manoj Sinha attending ‘Pratham Puja’ of Shri Amarnath Ji through video conferencing in Srinagar on Saturday.

‘30,000 given jobs, none through backdoor’
*Elections will be held in transparent manner

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, June 3: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today said the pilgrims visiting holy cave shrine of Shri Amarnath Ji in South Kashmir Himalayas this year will return with good experience and added that the pilgrimage will benefit local people and give boost to economy.
He was speaking after attending ‘Pratham Puja’ to mark ceremonial beginning of Shri Amarnath Ji yatra, through video conferencing in Srinagar, today.
“There was heavy snowfall this year but the Border Roads Organisation has done commendable work. I hope in the days to come, the tracks will be fully cleared,” Sinha said.
He said Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) has been taking all steps and the administration is also working to ensure smooth pilgrimage which will start on July 1 and culminate on August 31 this year.
Seeking help of local people in making yatra successful this year too like previous years, the Lieutenant Governor expressed confidence that the yatris will return with good experience.
“When pilgrims visit, the locals get benefited. The economy will also get a boost,” Sinha said.
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At a separate function, Sinha said elections in J&K will be held in a transparent manner first time and nobody will be allowed to “hijack democracy” as seen in the past.
“Gone are the days when elections were rigged and democracy hijacked in J&K. Everything is taking place in a transparent manner. Whenever elections are held in J&K, the process will be conducted in a transparent manner. Nobody will be allowed to hijack democracy as seen in the past,” he said.
Taking a jibe at the previous Governments, Sinha said that people were made hollow promises and tall claims in the past. “Things changed immensely after 2019. Our motive has been to serve people and to come up to the expectations of the masses. Every challenge has been turned into opportunities,” he said, adding that before 2019, development was confined to few families. Lot of promises were made but they were never fulfilled,” the LG said.
Sinha said that before 2019, jobs were given to only influential people and the poor were left alone. “Impression was given to the people that there was nothing beyond Government jobs. Backdoor appointments were the first priority of previous regimes,” he said. “In the past three years, 30,000 people were given jobs. Not a single person got the job through a backdoor, he added.
He said peace will lead to development in Jammu and Kashmir though some forces are trying to disrupt peace.
However, he added, there have been clear directions to police and security forces that no innocent person should be harassed.
“If anyone feels that any innocent has been harassed, they should tell. I assure you that no innocent will be touched,” he added.
Asserting that Jammu and Kashmir has been moving forward like the country, the Lieutenant Governor said successful G20 meeting in Srinagar has sent a good message
“Today, India has become fifth major economy in the world, Jammu and Kashmir is also marching ahead and will have major contribution in the country’s progress,” Sinha said.
Meanwhile, to mark the ceremonial beginning of the annual Amarnath Yatra, a puja was held at the cave shrine in the South Kashmir Himalayas today.
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha joined the “pratham puja” (first puja) via video conferencing.
“To mark the ceremonial beginning of the annual Amarnath Yatra, attended Pratham Puja via video conferencing. For millions of devotees all over the world pilgrimage to the holy cave of Baba Amarnath is a cherished life-long dream,” Sinha tweeted.
“Dedicated efforts have been made in the last few years to bring about perceptible improvements in infrastructure and other facilities,” he said.
Sinha said officials of the Shri Amarnath Ji Shrine Board (SASB) are working hard to ensure that needs and requirements of devotees are taken care of during the pilgrimage.
“We are constantly striving for better facilities and services for pilgrims. The local residents are making immense contribution for the successful conduct of the yatra that will commence from July 1. It will also increase the livelihood opportunities” he added.
The Lieutenant Governor sought blessings of Baba Amarnath Ji and prayed for good health and well being of one and all. Shri Amarnath Ji Shrine Board has been organising `Pratham Puja’ at the holy cave on the auspicious occasion of Jyeshtha Purnima every year.
“For millions of devotees all over the world, pilgrimage to the holy cave of Baba Amarnath Ji is a cherished life-long dream,” Sinha said.
The 62-day long Shri Amarnath Ji yatra will commence on July 1 this year, simultaneously from both the routes–Pahalgam track in Anantnag district and Baltal in Ganderbal district and will culminate on August 31.
Dr Mandeep Kumar Bhandari, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Shri Amarnath Ji Shrine Board, members of the Board, senior officials of SASB, Army and Lieutenant Governor’s Secretariat also attended the `Pratham Puja’.