Srinagar- Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) is pulling out all the stops to ensure smooth pilgrimage, scheduled to begin on June 30, to the holy cave shrine housing the naturally formed ice-lingam in south Kashmir Himalayas.
Jammu and Kashmir administration is also augmenting the efforts of the Shrine Board by providing fool proof security cover along both the Pahalgam and Baltal routes to the holy cave, a senior official said.
While the board is making arrangements for the pilgrims intending to undertake the pilgrimage, it has also made a provision of online darshan for those who cannot physically undertake the yatra.
“For the devotees who can not come for the Yatra, they can avail facility of online darshan, pooja, havan and prasad,” an official of the SASB said.
At Baltal base camp, a 70-bed fully-equipped DRDO hospital had been set up for quality healthcare services to the pilgrims.
The hospital, funded by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, will have X-ray and ultrasound facilities, general and oxygenated wards, OPD, ICU, pharmacy and a laboratory.
The health department of the Union territory also has made special arrangements for providing healthcare facilities to the pilgrims.
They have stationed 109 Basic Life Support ambulances and 26 Advance Life Support critical care ambulances have at 55 locations en route Baltal and Chandanwari routes from Qazigund for the pilgrims.
During a recent visit to the twin base camps, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said this year special focus is on cleanliness and the board aims for a “Swachh Amarnath Yatra”.
“We have made provision of toilets all along the routes. We are very serious about the overall cleanliness. Swachh Bharat is not just a slogan but a commitment announced by the Prime Minister,” he said.
The security along both the Baltal and Pahalgam routes has been beefed up with new security pickets being established to ensure that the subversive elements are not able to disrupt the pilgrimage, the official said.
To ensure only bona-fide pilgrims are present at the yatra, the SASB has asked all intending pilgrims to carry Aadhar cards or any other biometric verified document with them.
The Yatra is scheduled to begin on June 30 and culminate on August 11, coinciding with Raksha Bandhan.
This year the pilgrimage is expected to see higher than usual attendance of pilgrims as the Yatra is resuming after a gap of three years.
In 2019, the Yatra was cancelled midway due to the Centre’s plan for abrogation of Article 370, the pilgrimage did not take place in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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