Sri Sri to head Sub-Committee on Yatra duration

Vohra chairs SASB meet, expresses satisfaction over arrangements


Srinagar, July 22: The Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) on Friday decided to set up its Sub-Committee under the chairmanship of H H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Member of the Board, to advise it regarding the duration and schedule of the Yatra from 2012 onwards.
The other members of the Sub-Committee would be Swami Avdheshanandji Maharaj, Joona Peethadishwar, Haridwar; Dr Chandermouli Raina, Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, Jammu; Prem Gupta, IPS (Retd), Jammu; R L Bharti, IFS (Retd), Jammu; Y V Sharma, President, Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Jammu, and R K Goyal, Chief Executive Officer of the Shrine Board, as its Member Secretary.
The SASB met here this afternoon under the chairmanship of Governor N N Vohra, who is also the Chairman of the Board, and reviewed the status of the ongoing Yatra to the Cave Shrine and expressed satisfaction over the continuing efforts for ensuring progressive improvement in the management of the pilgrimage.
The Board decided that the Chairman of the Sub-Committee may co-opt any other suitable person, who has knowledge and experience in the arena of religious traditions and practice, security, management, environment protection and any other relevant area. It was disclosed that the Sub-Committee is likely to commence its work in the first week of September 2011 and tender its recommendations to the Shrine Board by December 15 2011. The Sub-Committee shall hear all interested parties.
During the meeting, the Governor informed the Board Members about the approaches adopted for the management of Yatra-2011 to ensure that all required logistical facilities and arrangements were timely put in place at the
base camps, camps enroute and at the Holy Cave to facilitate the Yatris.     
The new initiatives for improving the management of Yatra 2011 include increasing the number of Registration Counters from 121 to 149; provision of Accident Insurance Cover of Rs one lakh for every registered Yatri, at the cost of the Shrine Board; providing with sport from the State Government, Accidental Insurance Cover to all the registered labourers (persons carrying baggage, ponywallahs and dandiwallahs) as also to the pony owners in cases where a pony is killed in an accidental death, as a welfare measure for the poor sections of the society.
The Governor thanked the Union Ministry of Communications and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) for making available cellular phone connectivity at Baltal, Domel, Chandanwari, Holy Cave, Panjtarni and Sheshnag ahead of the commencement of the Yatra on June 29.
He said that this real time telecommunication facility had been extremely useful for the pilgrims and enabling effective Yatra management.
He added that the Board had also set up Digital Satellite Phones during the ongoing Yatra this year, at the crucial Camps at Sheshnag, Panjtarni and the Holy Cave, and these have proved extremely useful in monitoring the Yatra arrangements and the movement of Yatris.
 The Governor said that R K Goyal, Chief Executive Officer, and the Board’s limited staff, had been continuously engaged for the past nearly a year, ever since the end of Yatra 2010, in processing action to complete all the Yatra related arrangements within the pre-determined time schedules.
He said that he, along with the CEO and other concerned officers, had been undertaking frequent visits to the Base Camps, Camps enroute and the Holy Cave to continuously monitor the Yatra arrangements being put in place on the ground and this approach had made it possible to commence the Yatra from 29th June, as per schedule. He said that the Board’s efforts had materialized because of the ready support extended by the State Government, the Forces and, more particularly, the fullsome cooperation of the Valley people towards the smooth conduct of the Yatra.
He said that the Yatra had so far progressed satisfactorily and a major challenge faced this year arose from an extraordinary large number of persons, including a very significant percentage of tourists visiting the Valley, embarking on the Yatra without securing a Yatra Registration Permit.
This matter is being further discussed with the State Government, to ensure against similar situations arising in the future.

Lastupdate on : Fri, 22 Jul 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 22 Jul 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 23 Jul 2011 00:00:00 IST

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