Srinagar,August 03 (Scoop News) -N. N. Vohra, Governor, who is Chairman of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, has convened a post-Yatra Review Meeting here on 8th August, 2012 to critically assess, a Camp-wise and route-wise, the adequacy of the arrangements that were made for the conduct of 2012 Yatra to the Holy Cave Shrine of Shri Amarnathji. These post-Yatra Review Meetings have been held every year since 2009 and have proved useful in bringing about continuing improvements in the management of the pilgrimage.
Chief Secretary; all concerned Administrative Secretaries and their Heads of Departments; Deputy Commissioners and SSPs of Anantnag and Ganderbal districts; Civil, Police, Army and Security Forces Officers; Camp Directors, Chief Executive Officers of Pahalgam and Sonamarg Development Authorities and senior functionaries of the Shrine Board will participate in the Review Meeting with the essential objective of identifying the areas and facilities which need further strengthening and improvements for Yatra 2013 and, based thereon to draw up a Camp and route-wise Action Plan to fill the identified gaps.
The CEO stated that in all, 6,21,145 Yatris paid their obeisance at the Holy Cave Shrine of Shri Amarnathji during this year’s 39 days Yatra which culminated yesterday on the auspicious occasion of Raksha Bandhan. It may be recalled that over 6.35 lakh Yatris had performed darshan at the Holy Cave Shrine during the 46 days Yatra in 2011.
The CEO informed that, as directed by the Chairman, a post-Yatra sanitation drive has been launched in collaboration with the Security Forces and Development Authorities, to clean up the Camp sites and the tracks in the next few days.
Referring to the various new initiatives taken during the Yatra-2012, Navin K. Choudhary, CEO of the Shrine Board, said that the Shrine Board accorded very high priority to the implementation of sanitation and related measures for the preservation of the environment at the Base Camps and at all the locations enroute the Cave Shrine, along both the Yatra routes. He added that besides the Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs), based on eco-friendly technology/biological treatment, at the Baltal and Nunwan Base Camps, the toilet/bath facilities had been significantly augmented at the Base Camps, Camps enroute and in the Holy Cave area, with the installation of 750 new portable toilets. He further said that all the toilets were dosed with eco-friendly bacteria on daily basis.
The CEO disclosed that as in the past Yatra, this year also, all the registered pilgrims were provided free of cost Accident Insurance Cover of rupees one lakh. He said that accidental insurance cover is also provided, with the support from the State Government, to all the registered labourers deployed during the Yatra, as well as for the owners of the ponies killed in accidental deaths. He disclosed that insurance claims of owners of the ponies killed in Yatra 2012 are being processed expeditiously so that beneficiary owners receive the insurance claim very early.
Dwelling on other activities this year, the CEO stated that the helicopter services were made available on both Baltal-Panjtarni and Pahalgam-Panjtarni routes, at much reduced fares as compared to last year. In all, about 55,000 Yatris availed of the helicopter services on both the routes.
The CEO added that mobile phone connectivity had been made operational by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) on both Pahalgam and Baltal routes in the entire Yatra area this year, upto the Holy Cave Shrine, which was of great benefit to the Yatris. He informed that a round the clock Control Room was established in the CEO’s office to monitor all movements and to particularly watch the weather reports.
Despite repeated Health Advisories and issue of Do’s and Don’ts to the Yatris, the CEO regretted that 89 Yatris lost their lives due to medical reasons, during this year’s pilgrimage. He further informed that besides the 89 who died on account of medical reasons as many as 42 had died due to accidents, 7 within the Yatra area and 35 elsewhere in the State. He stated that the Shrine Board had provided all required financial help and logistical support for the medical treatment of those injured, for the transportation of dead bodies to various parts of the country, and in arranging evacuation, wherever required.