Governor N.N. Vohra, Chairman of the Amarnathji Shrine Board, today reviewed arrangements for the forthcoming Yatra which is scheduled to commence on 28th June 2018. The review meeting was attended by Umang Narula, Principal Secretary to Governor and Chief Executive Officer of the Shrine Board (CEO); Bhupinder Kumar, Additional Chief Executive Officer; R.K. Pandita, General Manager (Works) SASB and other officers of the Shrine Board.
Governor reviewed the status of preparations and the action being taken for timely securing the required arrangements for Yatra 2018. CEO briefed about the item-wise today position of all arrangements required to be made for the Yatra, within and outside the Yatra area.
Governor was informed that till date nearly 1.39 lakh pilgrims have registered for Yatra 2018, including 2122 under the Group Registration facility and 31 under the category of ex-India pilgrims. It was also informed that till date 28,516 intending pilgrims have availed the facility of online booking of heli-tickets from both the Pahalgam and Baltal routes.
In order to strengthen the efforts already being made to disseminate Yatra related awareness amongst the intending Yatris, CEO informed that SMSs containing Health Advisories and “Dos and Don’ts” are being regularly sent through Bulk SMS facility of NIC to ensure that Yatris are better prepared for undertaking the arduous Yatra. In addition, a “Help Line” facility with short code 1364 has been set up, in the Additional CEO’s office to answer the queries of Yatris. The Short Code is easier to remember than phone numbers. Governor directed CEO to ensure that the website of Shrine Board should be kept constantly updated with relevant information to facilitate the Yatris for planning their Yatra.
Governor directed CEO to ensure that timely advance action is taken to complete registration of Ponies, Pony-wallas, Dandi-wallas and Palki-wallas and to ensure that no person embarks on the Yatra tracks unauthorizedly. Governor further directed CEO to ensure that both the Deputy Commissioners of Anantnag and Ganderbal districts timely issue permissions for pitching of Tents and Shops. Arrangements regarding the provision of safety measures at the Nunwan and Baltal Base Camps were also reviewed and CEO was directed to closely monitor each of the restoration and improvement works which are being carried out by various Government agencies to ensure that the same are available for the ensuing Yatra.
After the review the Governor observed that while most of the arrangements are being made within the earlier fixed time lines it was necessary for sustained publicity being carried out to caution the pilgrims about the Dos and Don’ts of the Yatra, so that every pilgrim prepares to be physically fit before embarking on this arduous pilgrimage. Governor further observed that disaster management and preparedness should be accorded high priority; that Mock Drill and Table Top Exercises are conducted by NDMA, SDMA and other concerned agencies well before the commencement of Yatra. It was further directed that 9 Mobile Rescue Teams of State Police should be inducted in the Yatra area well before the pilgrimage starts.