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Jammu KashmirSri Amarnath Yatra begins, Pilgrims arrive to rousing reception at Lakhanpur

Sri Amarnath Yatra begins, Pilgrims arrive to rousing reception at Lakhanpur


LG Sinha to flag off first batch of pilgrims, 500 more Cos to guard yatra routes, highways;


Tawi, June 28: Amid deployment of 500 additional companies of security forces, the annual pilgrimage of Amarnath will commence tomorrow (Wednesday) after a gap of two years.

Officials told that at least 500 additional companies of security forces including BSF, CRPF, ITBP and SSB, have been deployed for the smooth conduct of the pilgrimage. This is apart from the army, CRPF, BSF and police forces already present in Kashmir.

“Majority of security forces have been deployed at base camps, Yatra routes and vulnerable points along the highways,” they said, adding that as part of the security grid, there will be round the clock patrolling at Yatra routes and highways. IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar visited the cave shrine and took stock of the security arrangements in place for the pilgrimage. The J&K LG Manoj Sinha has already stated that there was “no worry as all security arrangements were in place.”

Officials told that LG Sinha will flag off the first batch of Amarnath pilgrims from Bhagwati Nagar based Yatri Niwas here on Wednesday morning.

Sources said that LG Manoj Sinha along with administrative officers and Jammu Mayor will flag off the first batch early morning on Wednesday from Yatri Niwas.

They said that first batch will leave for Chandanwari and Baltal routes in tight security convey lead by vehicles from CRPF and J&K.

Officials added that all arrangements, basic facilities are also in place for the pilgrims.

Notably, Shri Amarnath Yatra is being organised this year after remaining suspended due to Covid pandemic in 2020-21 and in cut short in August 2019 in view of revocation of 370.

The 43 days Yatra will conclude on August 11 on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan.

Sinha, who is also the chairman of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board on Monday also visited the Yatri Niwas and took stock of preparations for the yatra.

Sinha said that people of both the regions of the Union Territory are enthusiastic to welcome the pilgrims while the Security Forces are on alert for smooth conduct of Shri Amarnath pilgrimage.

Additional security personnel from police, CRPF, CAPF, CISF, BSF and Army are deployed within Jammu, peripheries and along Jammu-Srinagar highway for the smooth and safe conduct of the yatra.

Meanwhile, District Administration Kathua today welcomed the first batch of Amarnath yatris at Lakhanpur- the gateway of Jammu and  Kashmir amidst spirited participation of a large number of pilgrims who turned up for annual Amarnath Yatra resuming this year after two years of Covid scare.

The Yatris were formally welcomed at Lakhanpur base camp in Kathua district by Vice Chairman DDC Kathua Raghunandan Singh, DC Kathua Rahul Pandey, SSP Kathua R C Kotwal

At Kathua administration also provided RFID (radio frequency identification) tags to each pilgrams entering in the UT for Amarnath Pilgrimage.

Already registered were given RFID tags at Lakhanpur after mandatory undergo eKYC (Know Your Customer) verification.

A 24×7 Information help desk has also been set up to provide proper Yatra related information to the visitors.

Moreover, Police have also issued special stickers for pasting them on vehicles ferrying pilgrims and said that no vehicle without HSRP will be allowed to proceed on the highway towards the cave shrine.

“Special teams deputed to verify documents of the vehicles carrying Amarnath pilgrims, following which a special striker issued and pasted on the windscreen to avoid any other check throughout the journey route,” said a police official.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration have also barred non HSRP vehicles from carrying pilgrims. In past we have seen many vehicles with tempered number plates, prone to be use in terror related crimes, to check this, pilgrims are advised to travel only in HSRP fixed vehicles, said a senior police official.

J&K to get Rs 3k Cr economic push: Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, P K Pole said that Amarnath Yatra is not mere a pilgrimage but a major economic push to J&K's economy as the government expects Rs 2000 to Rs 3000 Crore revenue from 6 to 8 lakh pilgrims, who intend to visit tourist destinations as well.

Talking to reporters at Mir Bazar Ananatnag, after reviewing arrangements for the Yatra, Pole said that Mir Bazar Yatra facility will accommodate 2500 yatris at a time compared to 500 earlier.

He added that all other arrangements are in place for smooth pilgrimage this year and he welcomes Yatris with open heart and may Lord Shiva accept their prayers.

Pole said that this year administration is expecting 6 to 8 lakh pilgrims. “Each pilgrim stays in Kashmir for a week and spends at least Rs 35000. They visits other tourist destinations of Kashmir as well,” he said, adding that the administration is expecting Rs 2000 to Rs 3000 Crore income, which will give boost to JK's economy.

He added that there is also a toll free number for Yatris and clean drinking water and shelter facilities are available at base camps and other points.

Pole further said the shrine board has also introduced a mobile App for pilgrims that will provide latest updates to yatris including the update.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.


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