Amarnath Yatra: This year’s pilgrimage to be longest ever, to last for 62 days, says SASB

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30,4000 pilgrims register so far for Yatra, figure 10 per cent more than last year, no night stay for pilgrims at cave shrine; no pilgrimage without RFID chips, both tracks illuminated; Yatris to wear helmets at vulnerable points, 4000 sanitary workers hired for waste disposal: CEO Shrine Board

Raja Syed Rather

Welcoming the pilgrims with the message of love and peace, Shrine Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) Wednesday said that this year the pilgrimage will be longest ever that would last for 62 days and so far 3,0,4000 pilgrims have registered which is 10 per cent more than the previous year.

Addressing a press conference here, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) SASB, Dr Mandeep Kumar Bhandari said that Shrine Board and the UT administration is fully ready to welcome Yatris open heartedly from July 1 onwards. “The yatra will last till August 32. This year’s pilgrimage will last for 62 days and will be longest ever so far,” Bhandari said, as per news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO). He said so far 3,0,4000 pilgrims have registered with the board through various modes of registration available. “The figure is 10 per cent more than the last year,” he said.

He said that Yatris upto the age of 70 years can perform the pilgrimage. “Yatra can be performed from two routes—Baltal which involves 14.5 kms trekking and from Chandanwari where from Yatris have to trek 32 kms upto the cave shrine,” the CEO SASB said.

He said that yatri’s will perform the darshan of ice-lingum at the height of 13000 feet. “This year, yatra tracks on both the routes have been widened and hand railings have been installed. “

With the help of grid supply, Baltal track has been illuminated and with the supply from generator set, Chandanwari track has been illuminated too so that if any pilgrims gets stuck during night, he/she can walk smoothly,” he said, as per KNO.

The CEO said that on both tracks, proper drinking water supply has been ensured. He said that 440 beds have been kept at the both base camps to deal with the pilgrims who suffer from High Altitude sickness. “Internet and calling facilities have been ensured for pilgrims enroute cave shrine from both tracks,” he said, adding that 4000 sanitary workers have been employed to collect trash and dispose of the same at base camps.

At various vulnerable points, helmets have been made available for the pilgrims so that they can protect themselves from shooting stones and landslides during heavy rains, the CEO said, adding that mountain rescue teams have been deployed enroute cave shrine for quick evacuation.

He said that no pilgrim will be allowed to stay at the cave shrine for night stay. “No pilgrim will be allowed to proceed for pilgrimage without RFID chips,” the CEO said, adding that tent facility to accommodate 70,000 pilgrims have been put in place

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