Srinagar, June 09 (Scoop News) – R. K. Goyal, Chief Executive Officer of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) has reiterated that there has been no change whatsoever since 2007 in the security fee required to be deposited by the Langar Organisations, which continues to be Rs. 25,000, which includes a non-refundable amount of Rs. 15,000 towards sanitation and environment protection and Rs. 10,000 as refundable security deposit.
CEO R. K. Goyal also disclosed that the Yatra Registration, which commenced on 5th June 2010 has been progressing well and, so far, in the last four days, more than 50,000 persons have registered for the Yatra.
. He asserted that despite continuing price rise and escalation in the cost of all products, the Board has allowed no increase whatsoever in the charges from any stakeholders. He added that about 125 Langar Organisations have been permitted to set up Langars at various Camp locations this year and each of them have duly and timely deposited the required amount more than two months back. He said that the Langar Organizations which had not asked for the refund of security deposit last year were not required to deposit the same this year, as the required amount was carried forward to this year.
Referring to the special emphasis being laid by the Board on the preservation of the ecology and environment of the Yatra area, Goyal said that a detailed plan has been drawn up under expert guidance to maintain cleanliness at the Base Camps in Baltal and Nunwan and enroute the
He said that several new initiatives have been taken this year for bringing further improvement in the Yatra management. These, interalia, include increasing the number of Registration Counters of the J&K Bank to 121 this year, as against 103 last year, for further facilitating the registration of pilgrims for the Yatra; provision of free of charge Accident Insurance Cover of Rs. one lakh for every Yatri who has a Yatra Permit and the entire expenditure towards the insurance premium is being borne by the Board. In Yatra 2009, a Yatri seeking an accident insurance cover was required to pay Rs. 24 at the time of registration for the Yatra. Further, he stated that the Shrine Board, with the support from the State Government, has also completed the required formalities to provide similar Accidental Insurance Cover to all the registered labourers as also to the pony owners in case their pony is involved in an accidental death.
He said that from this year, helicopter services would be available for the Yatris, who wish to avail these, on both the Baltal-Panjtarni-Baltal and the Pahalgam-Panjtarni-Pahalgam routes. He added that the helicopter fares this year are also substantially lower as compared to those in Yatra 2009. The Board has allotted special quotas of helicopter bookings for the Tour and Travel Associations of Kashmir and Jammu Divisions, in an equitable manner, with a view to support their efforts to provide the maximum possible facilities to the pilgrims, and thus also promote tourism. This step has been widely appreciated by all the stakeholders, he added.