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JAMMU:  Divisional Commissioner, Sanjeev Verma today held a press conference to deliberate upon the arrangements being put in place by the administration for the pilgrims of Shri Amarnath Ji Shrine, who have been stuck due to inclement weather conditions, to ensure their smooth pilgrimage. “Adequate arrangements were made for the pilgrims and the Yatra is resuming in a strategized way taking climate into consideration”, the Div Com maintained.

The Div Com said that the administration at the highest level is monitoring the safety, health and comfort of the yatris and the officers are on round the clock duty for security and other arrangements made for Yatra. Monitoring committees are conducting frequent visits for ensuring sanitation, hygienic food and proper safety arrangements, the Div Com said, adding that, necessary measures were initiated to accommodate the heavy rush of yatris.

Focusing on sanitation and cleanliness, the Div Com said that the temporary and mobile sanitations units were installed especially for the women folks to address the sanitation issue. The Div Com informed that a Price Control Team was constituted to check the overpricing of products enroute and internal communication system was strengthened for the assistance the yatris.

He said that around 20,000 pilgrims are staying with adequate facilities in various identified centres and the necessary directions have been passed to all the concerned officers for ensuring healthcare, sanitation, uninterrupted water and power supply for the comfortable stay of Yatris. The Div Com further added that many Yatris are also visiting other pilgrim tourist destinations like Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine and Shri Shiv Khori Shrine under tour packages of Tourism Department. He said that all the essential departments are maintaining close coordination for providing timely help and services to the Yatris.

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SRINAGAR: In view of the incidences of shooting stones and slippery tracks the Yatra remained suspended from the Baltal route.  Meanwhile it has been proceeding smoothly from the Pahalgam route. However, Helicopter service operated from both the routes. CEO further informed that on the 9th day of ongoing Shri Amarnathji Yatra 4821 Yatris paid obeisance at Holy Cave and till date 73023 Yatris had the darshan of the Shivling at the Holy Cave.

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  • Governor visits Camps and issues directions

SRINAGAR: On the directions of Governor N.N. Vohra, Chairman Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, to Shri Umang Narula, Chief Executive Officer of the Shrine Board, an evacuation rescue operations were launched early today to evacuate stranded Yatris from Panjtarni to Baltal. The virtually non-stop rainfall over the past several days has adversely affected the track conditions, particularly on the Baltal-Sangam-Holy Cave route. Besides landslides at several places the maximum disruption has been caused by shooting stones and the sinking of the track at certain locations. As directed by the Governor, sick pilgrims as well as the aged and women Yatris were amongst the first to be airlifted when three Indian Air Force MI-17 Helicopters started operating sorties from Panjtarni to Baltal.

Cancelling a pre-scheduled tour to Jammu, in connection with an important engagement, Governor Vohra, accompanied by Shri B.B. Vyas, Advisor to Governor, and Shri Umang Narula, Chief Executive Officer, visited Baltal, Panjtarni and Nunwan (Pahalgam) Yatra Camps for a first hand assessment of the ground situation. Besides holding meetings with the Camp Directors and senior Civil officers of the various departments, Deputy Commissioners and SSPs Ganderbal and Anantnag districts, officers of Police, Army, BRO etc, Governor met the pilgrims to hear their problems.

After discussions with Deputy Commissioners, SSPs, Camp Directors and all other concerned officers, Governor gave directions regarding the cut-off timings for the upward and downward movements on the Baltal-Panjtarni-Baltal Track; urgent deployment of additional Police personnel, MRTP rescue teams and SDRF teams at all the critical locations on the tracks to regulate the movement of Yatris, particularly those who are unwell; urgent deployment of additional labour for the immediate restoration of the damaged portions of the track and, besides, to stand-by for repairing any arising problem; installation of lights along the damaged/vulnerable portions of the track; deployment of a Magistrate at Brarimarg; Camp Directors and Police to ensure strict enforcement of the rates charged for tents, ponies, porters, palkis etc and particularly ensure against any overcharging; as the Baltal route has become in-operative due to falling stones/landslides Camp Director Baltal was instructed to see that Yatris who possess Registration to travel on the Baltal route should be facilitated to undertake their pilgrimage via the Pahalgam route if they so wish; J&K Bank to be approached for urgently establishing facility for disbursal of cash at Panjtarni till an ATM is installed here.

With a view to regulate the movement of pilgrims from Jammu onwards, till the Baltal track becomes operational the Governor has convened an Emergency Meeting at the Raj Bhavan today evening for taking appropriate decisions and making them known to pilgrims and all concerned authorities in the State.