56-day Amarnath yatra to begin in Kashmir on June 28

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Daily ceiling on yatris enhanced from 7500 to 10000 on both Baltal and Chandanwari routes

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

Jammu: An increased 10,000 pilgrims will be allowed to daily embark on Amarnath pilgrimage in South Kashmir Himalayas on each of the two routes from Baltal and Chandanwari this year.

Pointing out that the yatra will be of 56 days beginning auspicious day of Ashaad Chaturthi falling on June 28 to August 22 (Raksha Bandan), an official spokesperson here said the yatra will be held as per COVID-19 SOPs finalised by the government. 

The decision regarding yatra period was taken at a meeting of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board chaired by UT’s Lt Governor Manoj Sinha, keeping in view the foremost concern of the safety and security of the pilgrims, he added. Those present at the meeting included BVR Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary; Atal Dulloo, Financial Commissioner, Health and Medical Education Department and Members of the Board including Swami Avdheshanand Giri Ji Maharaj;  D.C. Raina; Pt. Bhajan Sopori; Prof. Anita Billawaria; Dr. Sudershan Kumar; Dr. C.M. Seth; Tripta Dhawan; Prof. Vishwamurti Shastri and Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty. Nitishwar Kumar, Chief Executive Officer SASB; Pandurang K. Pole, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir; Anup Kumar Soni, Additional Chief Executive Officer SASB; and other senior officers of the Shrine Board also attended the meeting in person and through virtual mode.

Advance registration of pilgrims will commence from April 1 through 446 designated branches of Punjab National Bank, Jammu and Kashmir Bank and YES Bank, located in 37 States and UTs.The Board will also enable the live telecast of morning and evening Aarti for devotees across the globe. The live telecast is a tool for virtual Darshan for those who are unable to undertake the arduous Yatra. 

Further, the pilgrims can download the “Shri Amarnathji Yatra” App available on the Google play store to get real time information about the Yatra and for availing several services online.Today’s meeting saw some major decisions taken to facilitate the pilgrims and other stakeholders for the smooth conduct of the Yatra. 

The Board deliberated at length on the number of Yatris who would be allowed to register, date-wise and route-wise, for this year’s Yatra.

Considering the carrying capacity of the existing tracks and other available infrastructure in the Yatra area, the Board decided to enhance the number of pilgrims from 7,500 to 10,000 daily proceeding to the shrine from Baltal and also Chandanwari route. This will be other than the number of pilgrims who would travel by helicopters.

The Lt Governor also directed for issuance of Special invitations to Akhada Parishads, Acharya Parishads and exploring possibility of establishing counters at prominent religious places across the country for facilitation of Sadhu/Sant Samaj.Laying special emphasis on providing best-in-class healthcare facilities to all the visiting devotees and service providers, the Lt Governor directed the concerned officers to upgrade the present healthcare facilities on both yatra routes with latest equipments and augment strength of the medical staff to handle emergency cases.

On strengthening the communication channel, the Lt Governor directed for making the telecom services operational two weeks prior to the commencing of yatra at the Holy Cave and across the yatra routes.It was further directed to upgrade the sanitation capacity commensurate with the enhanced yatra volume for base camp and along the routes.

During the meeting, Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board approved the enhancement of remunerations for Pujaris from existing Rs 1000 per day to Rs 1500 per day for the next three years.Further, as directed by the Lt Governor in the January 5, 2021 preparatory meeting, the Group accidental insurance cover for Yatris, Service Providers was also enhanced from Rs. 3 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh and for Ponies from Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 50,000.Discussion was also held on introducing RFID Tracking and Prepaid hiring of Services for putting in place for strengthened online digital system, spokesperson said.

The Board further directed for wide publicity to be given through the electronic and print media, informing the intending Yatris to timely secure the prescribed Compulsory Health Certificates issued by the Doctors/ Hospitals nominated by the State or UTs in which they reside and only thereafter proceed to seek Advance Registration from the nearest located designated Bank which would issue the pilgrim a Yatra Permit which shall be valid for the specified date and route.The Board also advised the CEO to appeal to all the potential pilgrims to consult their doctors before embarking on the pilgrimage.

The CEO shall also widely publicize that no person below the age of 13 years and above the age of 75 years shall be permitted to undertake the pilgrimage.Appreciating the important services rendered by the Langar Organizations, the Board looked to their continued support during Yatra 2021.As in the past, the awareness campaign would be launched with the cooperation and support of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and all information relating to Yatra will be placed on the Board’s Website (www.Shriamarnathjishrine.com).

CEO, SASB also apprised the Board about the other initiatives being taken by the Board for facilitating the Yatris including introduction of free of cost Battery Car service for the first time for 2.75 kms long Baltal to Domel stretch and vice versa.

Further, the Board is issuing silver coins of 5 gm and 10 gm denomination through the Metal and Mineral Trading Corporation (MMTC). These coins would be sold to the pilgrims at the Holy Cave and at the offices of the Shrine Board during the Yatra.