Amarnath Yatra integral part of Kashmir tradition and Kashmiriyat: GCC

Appeals for smooth and safe conduct of the yatra
Amarnath yatris leave for the cave shrine as the pilgrimage begins after a gap of two years
Amarnath yatris leave for the cave shrine as the pilgrimage begins after a gap of two years Mir Wasim for Greater Kashmir

Srinagar, June 30: The Group of Concerned Citizens (GCC), Jammu and Kashmir, in Thursday welcomed the Lieutenant Governor's outreach to the political leaders of Jammu and Kashmir in connection with Amarnath Yatra to seek their and people's cooperation for the smooth and successful conduct of Yatra this year.

In a written statement, the GCC reiterated that Amarnath Yatra is a part of Kashmir’s tradition and Kashmiris from all communities have always extended full support and cooperation for the comfort and safety of the yatris and smooth conduct of the yatra.

The GCC expressed the hope that people of Kashmir will, as always, extend warm hospitality to the yatris as guests of Kashmir and cooperation to the government agencies involved with yatra arrangements for smooth conduct of the yatra.

The GCC, however, appealed to these government agencies to ensure that immediately after the conclusion of the yatra, all plastic and non- biodegradable waste and debris on the two yatra routes is collected, removed and brought to the dumping sites down below for further appropriate disposal.

The GCC also appealed to avoid dumping of human waste and debris of all kinds into the streams, rivers and lakes on the routes to keep the water bodies clean.

It further called for maximum vigil for environmental and ecological protection of the two environmentally fragile areas of Baltal (Sonamarg)and Pahalgam which are the only two permissible routes for the yatra. The GCC appreciated the efforts of Sri AmarnathJi Shrine Board in this regard during previous yatras.

The GCC called upon the UT Administration to make all necessary security arrangements for safety of the yatris and also prepare to handle weather contingencies as and when encountered. With regard to weather contingencies, the GCC reminded the administration that as in the past the number of yatris allowed on a daily basis on each of the two routes will need to be regulated keeping in view the carrying capacity of the two routes.

The GCC hoped that as per past practice, sufficient medical services and facilities would be provided to the yatris and all other people accompanying the yatra on both the routes.

Among the signatories to the GCC statement are Mohd Shafi Pandit, Retd IAS, Khurshid Ahmed Ganai, Retd IAS, G.R. Sufi, Rtd IRS, Rtd Chief Commissioner, Income Tax and Former Chief Information Commissioner, J&K, Latief -u- Zaman Deva, Former Chairman J&K Public Services Commission, Dr. Rattan Lal Hangloo, Former Vice Chancellor, Allahabad University, Prof. Abdul Wahid Qureshi, Former Vice Chancellor, Kashmir University, Hashmatullah Khan, Former Vice Chancellor , Sher- i- Kashmir Agriculture University, Jammu, Prof. Dr. Tara Singh, Former, Member, J&K Public Services Commission, G.J.Nehvi, Rtd IAS, Feroz Ahmed, Rtd IAS, G.A.Peer, Rtd IAS, Abdul Rashid Khan, Rtd IPS, Riyaz Jan, Senior Advocate J& K High Court and Former Advocate General, J&K, G.H. Kangoo, Rtd IFoS and Rtd Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Rafeeq Masoodi, Rtd IBS and Former ADG, Door Darshan, Khaleeq- ul- Zaman, Rtd Distt and Sessions Judge, Mohammad Rafi, Former Director School Education, Kashmir, S.Ravinder Singh, Former Director School Education, Jammu, Bashir Ahmed Dar, Educationist and Former Secretary, J& K Board of School Education, Dr Abdul Salam , Former, HOD, Faculty of Law, University of Kashmir, Krishan Lal Kaul, Prominent Businessman, Srinagar, Masud Hussain, Artist, Srinagar, G.D. Bakshi, Krishi Pandit, Distt Rajouri, Qazi Abdul Hamid, Former Additional Advocate General, J& K, Prof. Dr. Nisar Ali, Prominent Economist and Former Economic Advisor to J&K Government, Prof. Mohammed Iqbal Zargar, Former Principal, Higher Education Deptt, Abdul Majid Bhat, Former Geo- Scientist, Masud Shah Hamdani, Businessman and Shafqat Bukhari, Journalist.

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