After G-20 meeting in Kashmir, Govt turns focus to safe darshan for Amarnath pilgrims


A glimpse of the ongoing restoration work of Amarnath Yatra tracks by Border Road Organization (BRO) at Pahalgam in Anantnag (ANI)

Home Minister directs officials to ensure adequate stock of oxygen cylinders and their refilling and also asked for the availability of additional teams of doctors

Our Bureau
Srinagar/New Delhi

Proving their motto ‘service before self’ veracious, Indian Army assured successful completion of the G20 summit in Kashmir amid several threats. Now, the Army is all geared up to safeguard the holy Amarnath Yatra pilgrimage in Kashmir.

Lt Gen Amardeep Singh Aujla, a commanding officer in Indian Army assured that the situation in Kashmir is “pretty good”. “The general situation in the valley is under control. The infiltration hasn’t happened this year…We completed successful G20 meetings this year…We are very robust on the ground when our counter-infiltration grid is concerned,” said Aujla, Chinar Corps Commander.

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday reviewed the preparations for the Amarnath Yatra at a high-level meeting in the national capital, directing to ensure adequate security arrangements to make a comfortable pilgrimage for the pilgrims.

Pointing out that it is the priority of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government that Amarnath pilgrims should have “comfortable darshan and should not face any difficulty”, Shah directed the officials concerned to make adequate security arrangements on the entire route of 62 days long Amarnath Yatra, which will commence on July 1 and culminate on August 31. Shah also stressed the need for smooth arrangements on the route “from the airport and railway station to the yatra base camp, and directed to provide air service from Srinagar and Jammu at night for the convenience of the pilgrims”.

The Home Minister later directed to ensure adequate stock of oxygen cylinders and their refilling and also asked for the availability of additional teams of doctors. He further directed for an adequate number of medical beds and the deployment of ambulances and helicopters to meet any medical emergency.

Shah directed the provision of all necessary amenities for Amarnath Yatris, including travel, stay, electricity, water, communication and health. He also directed to ensure a better communication system on the Yatra route and the deployment of machines to immediately open the route in the event of a landslide.

During the meeting, he apprised officials that all the pilgrims of Amarnath Yatra will be given RFID cards so that their real-time location can be traced.

“The insurance coverage of Rs 5 lakh for each Amarnath Yatri and Rs 50,000 for each animal will be ensured. Apart from this, arrangements for tent city, Wi-Fi hotspots and proper lighting will be made on the travel route,” read a Home Ministry statement.

“Additionally, Online- live Darshan of Baba Barfani, live telecast of morning and evening aarti in holy Amarnath cave and religious and cultural programs will be organized at the base camp,” the statement added.

The meeting was attended by Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha, Union Home Secretary, Director, Intelligence Bureau, Director General of Border Security Force and Central Reserve Police Force, Director General of Border Roads Organization, Chief Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir, other senior officials of Army, Central Government and Jammu and Kashmir administration.

Meanwhile, construction work on Yatri Niwas and the Disaster Management Center under the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation’s (ONGC) CSR initiative commenced in Jammu on Tuesday. Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, and Manoj Sinha, Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, performed puja for the commencement of construction work. The facility is being developed at Majeen Jammu under the CSR initiative of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) at a cost of Rs 51 crore.

Hardeep Singh Puri said the Yatri Niwas will help in providing accommodation for 30,000 Shri Amarnath pilgrims every year and will be particularly helpful for yatris from weaker sections. It will help in traffic management and ensure a seamless experience, he added.

Manoj Sinha congratulated the Amarnath devotees, officials of the Shrine Board, all stakeholders and organizations associated with Amarnath Yatra and the people of Jammu region for the commencement of the construction work of the Yatri Niwas.

He expressed gratitude to the Union Petroleum Minister for approving 4-5 more Yatri Niwas under CSR initiatives for Baba Amarnath devotees. This Seva of pilgrims on the holy pilgrimage is really appreciable, he said.

He also expressed gratitude to Arun Kumar Singh, Chairman ONGC and lauded the Board of Directors of ONGC for their outstanding support in realizing the dream of Yatri Niwas and Disaster Management Center at Jammu.

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