To have a final assessment of the critical stretches on the traditional track to Shri Amarnathji Cave Shrine, from Sheshnag to Panchtarni, a high level joint team of the State Administration and the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board surveyed the Mahagunus Top, Wavbal, Poshpathri and the two main camps of Sheshnag and Panchtarni this morning and took stock of the arrangements for the smooth conduct of the Yatra.
Another Team is scheduled to visit the entire traditional track tomorrow morning for making a conclusive recommendation to the Governor and Chairman of the SASB, Mr N N Vohra, to enable him to arrive at a practical decision regarding the commencement of the Yatra after taking into consideration the ground situation and the reports of the District Administration, Anantnag and the Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering (JIM). The teams from the JIM and the Pahalgam Development Authority (PDA) have undertaken extensive recce of the track during the past two weeks.
Sh. B. B. Vyas, Chief Executive Officer, SASB, recognising that significant work on the track had yet to be done by the Pahalgam Development Authority (PDA), particularly on the snow avalanche portion between Sheshnag and Panchtarni, gave on the spot instructions for engaging additional 300 labourers to supplement the efforts of the PDA in clearing snow on the critical patches within the next two days. He said that two teams of trained mountaineers of theJammu and Kashmir Police would be stationed at Wavbal and Poshpathri, on the two sides of the Mahagunus Top, to provide the much needed assistance to Yatris in shape of mobile rescue squads to provide rescue support, at short notice, whenever required. “Positioning of the rescue teams has been necessitated in view of the critical condition of the frozen snow track,” the CEO added.
The Joint Team took a detailed review of the arrangements and positioning of various essential services at the enroute camps. While 900 tents, 10 shops, 9 huts, 80 toilets and four langars have become functional at Sheshnag, the tenting colony and other utility services have also been put in place at Panchtarni, which include 750 tents, 80 toilets and four langars.
The team impressed upon the Yatra Officers and theCamp Directors of the SASB to have double-fly tents, with appropriate matting, pitched in view of the extreme cold and unpredicted weather conditions.
The Team walked a considerable distance on the snow-clad track and took stock of the clearance work, which had got impeded due to the accumulated snow, intermittent fresh snow and rains during the past two weeks.
The Joint Team also visited the
After having another reconnaissance tomorrow, the Joint Team will submit a final report to the Chairman for taking a decision on starting the Yatra on this route as well. The Yatra commenced from the Baltal route from 17th June.
A Spokesman of the SASB indicated that all necessary measures like regulated pilgrim traffic will be ensured on the Pahalgam route when it is thrown open. The Yatris are being regularly advised to carry adequate woolen clothing, a small umbrella, raincoat, waterproof shoes, torch, a stick, cap, gloves, jacket, woolen socks and trousers. These are essential as the climate is unpredictable, particularly in view of the unprecedented inclement weather in the past two weeks, which can recur any time. The temperature sometimes falls in the area to 5 degree Celsius. For ladies, sari is not a suitable dress for the Yatra. Salwar Kameez, pant-shirt or a track suit will be more comfortable for Yatris of both sexes.
Meanwhile, 10,692 Yatris performed darshan at the Holy Cave Shrine yesterday, while another batch of over 8,000 pilgrims left the Baltal Base camp for the