The annual pilgrimage to the Holy Cave Shrine of Shri Amarnathji concluded today, on Shravan Purnima, amid chanting of religious hymns in the spiritual ambience of South Kashmir Himalayas.
P.K. Tripathi, Chief Executive Officer of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board and Jitendra Kumar Singh, Additional CEO, visited the Cave Shrine early this morning and prayed for sustained peace, harmony, progress and prosperity in the State. After return from the Holy Cave, the CEO briefed the Governor (Chairman, SASB) about the peaceful conclusion of the Yatra.
The CEO stated that over 2.20 lakh Yatris had paid obeisance at the Holy Cave Shrine during this year's pilgrimage, which had commenced on 2nd July along both the Baltal and the Pahalgam routes.
The Governor expressed satisfaction over the incident-free conduct of this year's Yatra barring a road accident which took place at Halmulla, Bijbehara, Anantnag District, and another near the Access Control Gate, Chandanwari.
The Governor expressed concern and sympathy over the loss of 22 lives of pilgrims, service providers and others in this year's Yatra, of whom 2 died due to accidents and 20 due to medical reasons. He stressed the need for identifying fresh and further measures which could possibly prevent loss of precious lives in the future Yatras.
The Governor asked the CEO to immediately launch a full scale post-Yatra sanitation drive, fully involving the Pahalgam and Sonamarg Development Authorities, so that the entire Yatra area is effectively cleaned up in the next 5 days.
The Governor also directed the CEO to ensure complete cleaning up of all Camp sites and to prepare a Camp and route-wise Action Plan for Yatra 2017, keeping in view the experiences gained during this year's pilgrimage. He stressed that route-wise arrangements of all aspects of the Yatra must be worked out well in advance, with particular focus on medicare, sanitation, cleanliness, water and power supply and other facilities and, side by side, ensuring effective protection of environment and ecology of the Yatra area. In this context, the Governor is chairing the Post Yatra Review Meeting on 20th August in which around 130 officers who were involved with the management of Yatra 2016 will participate.
The Governor complimented the Civil and Police Administrations of Anantnag and Ganderbal districts, J&K Police, Central Armed Police Forces, Army, and all the involved State Government departments and other agencies for the smooth conduct of Yatra-2016.