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Twin Amarnath routes to have concrete tracks and facilities like Vaishno Devi

Thursday, 17 June 2021 (18:34 IST)
:-Vishal Bharti
Jammu:Although the final word on conducting the annual Shri Amarnath Yatra is yet awaited, the Shrine Board, responsible for the better management of Yatra, upgradation of facilities for pilgrims, has proposed to construct concrete tracks with basic facilities on twin routes to the Cave Shrine.
However, the Board is likely to give the nod to conduct yatra via Baltal route for a limited period with a cap on pilgrims.
Sources in the administration told UNI that the Board is holding deliberations time to time to take a final call before making an official announcement on pilgrimage, which is likely to begin from the Baltal route.
“The yatra may be allowed from the Baltal route for a limited number of days with a cap on pilgrims in view of pandemic,” sources said.
As per sources, the Shrine Board has also invited tenders for cleaning, maintenance of the track and providing other arrangements on the Baltal route.
The yatra this year as per earlier announcement has to start from June 28 and conclude on August 22 (Rakshabandhan).
Last year as well due to COVID pandemic, for the first time in history, Amarnath yatra was cancelled.
Meanwhile sources said that the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) has also proposed concrete (cemented) tracks on twin routes to the Cave Shrine situated in Anantnag district of South Kashmir.
“The twin tracks to the Cave Shrine will get a facelift on the lines of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi with maximum facilities for the devotees,” they expressed.
The work for the same as per sources may begin in the next couple of months taking advantage of limited pilgrimage this year due to COVID pandemic.
“The width of the track will be 12 feet with additional paths for the movement of pedestrians, ponies and palanquins,” they added.
“The ‘Pakka’ track will also be protected with guardrails on both sides for the convenience of the trekkers,” sources said adding that the concept has been visualised in view of maintenance of track every year because once cemented, the snow clearance operations can be done in a short span.
“Drinking water, toilet kiosks, eating points, resting cum viewpoints and other basic facilities are also proposed,” they added.
Sources said that the Shrine Board wants to facilitate the devotees on the lines of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi pilgrims.
The Jammu and Kashmir Administration this year was expecting a footfall of around six lakh pilgrims during annual Shri Amarnath Pilgrimage but the final decision is yet awaited.
The registration of devotees for the annual pilgrimage -2021 was started on April 1, 2021 and like various parts of the country, it was closed indefinitely on April 22 in view of the surging cases of corona infection across the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha during his visit to the national capital has also discussed the Amarnath Yatra matter with the Union Home Secretary and Union Home Minister.
Mr Sinha in an interview to a news channel recently has said that no final decision has been taken yet regarding Baba Amarnath Yatra as the situation is being monitored and the final call will be taken accordingly.
Meanwhile, sources added that the devotees unable to visit the Holy Cave, will be able to watch live telecast of Aarti from on their television screens on daily basis from June 28 to August 22 at 0600 hours to 1830 hours and from 1700 hours to 1750 hours.(UNI)

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