SASB distributes compensation to owners whose ponies killed in accidents

Srinagar: Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) today paid Rs 14.70 lakh to 49 pony wallahs, who lost their horses and ponies in accidents during the annual Amarnath yatra 2016.

An official spokesperson here today said Governor N N Vohra, who is the chairman of SASB, gave away cheques valuing about Rs 14.70 lakh to 49 pony wallahs for the loss of their horses and ponies in accidental deaths during the Amarnath Yatra 2016 at a function held at the Raj Bhavan here today.

The pony owners were paid compensation at Rs 30,000 for each pony  and horse killed accidentally.

The Governor interacted with the claimants and lauded their cooperation and contribution in facilitating the Yatris and making the annual Shri Amarnathji Yatra a successful event every year.

He observed that ponywallahs are an important part of the pilgrimage and that he had directed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SASB P K Tripathi, to ensure that all insurance claims payable to the ponywallahs are settled without any delay whatsoever.

The Governor observed that since the Shrine Board decided in 2010 to provide insurance cover to ponies killed in accidents, compensation valuing about Rs 1.69 Crore had been paid in 551 accident cases.

Mr Tripathi informed that this year 2,20,490 Yatris paid obeisance at the Holy Shrine Cave and elaborate arrangements were made by the Shrine Board with the active support of various Departments of the J&K Government, NGOs and the local people, particularly the residents of Ganderbal and Anantnag districts.      

The security arrangements were provided by the Army, Central Police Organization and the State Police.

For 2016, 10,212 ponies / horses were registered by the Animal and Sheep Husbandry Department for the use of pilgrims. 

Besides, 4,486 pithoos, 6,952 dandiwallas and 9,034 ponywallas were registered by the Labour and Employment Department for providing service during this year’s Yatra.

The CEO further informed that the Shrine Board has since 2010 been providing Group Insurance of Rs 1 lakh to all Registered Yatris and Service Providers against death resulting from any kind of accident, natural or man-made, during the period commencing from one month ahead of the Yatra till one week beyond the date of conclusion of the Yatra.

In 2010, an insurance cover of Rs 20,000 was provided to the registered ponies against death resulting from any kind of accident, natural or man-made.      The Insurance cover for ponies was enhanced to Rs 25,000 in 2011 and further increased to Rs 30,000 from Yatra 2013 onwards.

 Mr Jitendra K Singh, Additional CEO of the Shrine Board, gave details of the insurance claims of the pony owners who were presented insurance claim cheques. 


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