UT administration, CS work out minutest details to boost communal harmony, enrich economy and tourism

J K News Today Special

Jammu, March 14:

It is going to be a unique experience for  Amarnath pilgrims in 2021  as the UT  administration and Shri Amarnath Shrine Board have  worked out minutest details  for making the  Himalayan journey of faith comfortable and fruitful.

New features have been added to the pilgrimage , which for all practical  purpose , shall be  resuming after a gap of two years –  last time  the pilgrimage was cut short on August 2, 2019 , days ahead of the  abrogation of Article 370 three days later owing to the security concerns.

In 2020, the yatra had to be canceled  because of the pandemic caused by the Corona virus . There were fears that allowing the pilgrimage would give rise to the number of the Covid-19 cases.

This time , Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha , who also is Chairman of the  SASB, had started holding meetings and drawing plans for the yatra in the beginning of January , and these were followed by working out of the minutest details about all arrangements concerning the pilgrimage – accommodation , health facilities and smoothening of tracks leading to the cave shrine in Himalayas devoted to  Lord Shiva by Chief Secretary B V Subramaniam .

On Saturday , everything was fine tuned  at the SASB meeting chaired by  Manoj Sinha , where Chief Secretary, Niteshwar Kumar, Chief Executive officer and members made valuable suggestions and took everything into consideration before announcing the yatra schedule – beginning June 28 and concluding on  August 22.

Some of these new features will give an idea that how the things will transform  the yatra .

1.      Daily route-wise Yatri ceiling enhanced from 7500/Day/Route to 10000/Day/Route, excluding Heli passengers

2.       Special invitations to Akhada, Acharya Parishads across the country; counters to be established at prominent religious places for facilitation of Sadhu/Sant Samaj

3.     Group accidental insurance cover for Yatris, Service Providers enhanced from Rs. 3 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh;for Ponies from Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 50,000

4.       Remuneration of Pujaris enhanced from Rs. 1000/day to Rs. 1500/day for next 3 years

5.      LG directs for upgradation of healthcare facilities on both routes; to be equipped with top-of-the-line medical equipments, augmented manpower

6.    The Board will enable the live telecast of morning and evening Aarti for devotees across the globe

7.     Battery operated cars to ferry the pilgrims from Baltal to Domel

8       Telecom services at the Holy Cave and along the routes to be operational by 15th June 2021

In short, this  means that more inflow of pilgrims means  more  tourism , as  many pilgrims  double as  tourists in Kashmir,  they visit  places of tourist attraction – Srinagar, Gulmarg, Pahalgam . It enriches image of Kashmir as also  spreads a word of mouth over the conducive situation for the tourists  from the country and abroad.

This time  the government has  also ensured that the pilgrimage brings extraordinary benefits to the Kashmir economy and showcases the Amarnath pilgrimage in more than one ways as symbol and also in reality the high point of communal harmony.