Amarnath Yatra: Shrine Board to meet tomorrow to decide duration, dates


Lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha and Niteshwar Kumar, chief executive officer of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) and principal secretary to LG, will hold a meeting of the Board on Sunday to deliberate upon duration and dates for the ensuing annual Amarnath pilgrimage.

“The Board will meet at 12 pm on Sunday at the Raj Bhawan in Jammu, where Sinha, Kumar and ACEO Rahul Singh besides other officials will deliberate upon the ensuing pilgrimage and take a call on its duration and dates,” said a senior official.

After remaining suspended in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid pandemic, this year the administration has planned to hold a full-fledged pilgrimage. Last year, it had decided to hold a 56-day annual Yatra from June 28 to August 22, simultaneously along both the Baltal and Chandanwari routes, but it was called off due to raging Covid pandemic.

“It is expected that the LG and Board officials will announce the dates and duration after the meeting,” he added.

It may be stated here that the Amarnath Yatri Niwas at Chanderkote in Ramban district has been readied and the LG will inaugurate it before Baisakhi or in the ensuing Navratri festival. The executing agency CPWD has raised the infrastructure at a cost of 32.16 crore. The Yatri Niwas has 17 blocks and in each block 216 pilgrims can be accommodated in six dormitories.

This year, the administration has started preparing for a full-fledged pilgrimage to the cave shrine at an altitude of 13,000 feet in south Kashmir Himalayas. Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) has announced the commencement of registration of pilgrims via online mode from April.

The online registration will start through banks in April with a limit of 20,000 registrations fixed per day, while on the spot registrations will also be held at designated counters during Yatra days.

Radio frequency identification (RFID)-based tracking will be put in place for the movement of vehicles during the pilgrimage this year. “RFID shall ensure the safety of pilgrims by tracking movement of the vehicles and pilgrims. The RFID tag cards will be issued to all the pilgrims,” said the official.

He also informed that SASB shall also provide free battery car service to the pilgrims for 2.75 kms long Baltal to Domel stretch and vice versa.

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