Jammu & Kashmir: Unstoppable death toll of Shri Amarnath pilgrims during the current year’s pilgrimage is sending shivers among the commoners. The high level monitoring and maintaining for smooth pilgrimage by the authorities including Governor’s office and civil administration has been proving insufficient with every passing day.
Current year pilgrimage started on June 25 from the twin routes of Baltal in Ganderbal district and traditional Pahhalgam route in Anantnag district. Just in less than two weeks more than 67 pilgrims has lost their precious lives due health allied problems en-route to shrine for holy pilgrimage.
“As many as 3.5 lakh pilgrims had paid obeisance at the 3,880 metre high holy cave shrine housing the naturally formed ice-shivlingam by last night,” the officials said. Noticing that during last year’s pilgrimage about 107 pilgrims lost their lives out of 6.35 lakh pilgrims. Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) has made it mandatory for every pilgrim to go under medical check up to stop the causalities due health allied, particularly, cardiac attacks.
Despite setting up medical checkup centers at every requisite point, the number of dying pilgrims is increasing every day, leaving behind the figures of past few years far back. As many as 68 persons died due to medical reasons, particularly due to cardiac failure, during the annual Amarnath pilgrimage of 2010. And 45 persons lost their lives in the 2009 annual yatra, as per the official data.
It is important to recall that on July 4 an urgent meeting was held by SASB authorities wherein serious concern about pilgrims deaths were expressed besides guidelines for all those intending to undertake the Yatra were issued. Pilgrims were urged to take all required precautions and no person who has any medical or orthopaedic ailment, or any breathing, chest or heart problem should even think of undertaking this arduous Yatra, which involves climbing upto nearly 14,000 feet. It was also emphasized that every Yatri, even those in good physical condition, must carry the medicine, which he or she is required to take daily, if any, and, besides, some general preparations like Glucose, Disprin, Combiflam, Moove, Iodex, etc.
Even though being medical assistance available at every stop of route to holy cave besides time to time advisory by SASB authorities the number of deaths has increased manifolds. Political and religious leaders are worried about the developments. Because, on the one hand government is calming of having adequate arrangements for safe pilgrimage of people and on the other hand causalities are increasing uncontrolled.
Chief Executive Officer Shri Amarnath Shrine Board, Naveen Kumar Choudary was not available for his comments over the tragic developments despite repeated efforts for the last three days. Meanwhile, CRPF has extended helping hand in saving the lives of pilgrims by using modern equipments at high altudes and on both the base camps.