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.