Chief Secretary reviews Yatra arrangements

Chief Secretary, B V R Subrahmanyam on Saturday reviewed the arrangements made for the smooth conduct of AmarnathYatra commencing from July 1. Director General of Police, J&K, Financial Commissioner, Health & Medical Education, Financial Commissioner to Governor/CEO, SASB,  Principal Secretary Home, Principal Secretary, PD&MD, Principal Secretary, Animal & Sheep Husbandry/Transport, Administrative Secretaries of the Departments of Power Development, Forest, Ecology & Environment, PHE and I&FC, Tourism and Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir and other senior officers attended the meeting. Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, DC Ganderbal and DC Anantnag participated in the meeting through video conferencing.

The Chief Secretary reviewed in detail the facilities for safe, smooth and secure movement of pilgrims particularly along the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway and Baltal and ChandanwariYatra tracks up to the shrine cave, an official handout said.

Chief Secretary directed the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir/ Jammu to closely monitor the arrangements being put in place in Transit Camps along the Yatra route particularly at Kathua, Samba, Jammu, Udhampur, Ramban and in the base camps at Baltal and Chandanwari.

He asked Divisional Commissioner, Jammu to work out a plan for holding of Yatris in Transit Camps especially between the Udhampur – Ramban-Banihal stretch in the event of blockade of National Highway due to landslides etc.

He stressed on keeping Mughal Road operational for use during the Yatra as an alternate route in the event of blockade of Jammu-Srinagar National Highway.

The Chief Secretary also reviewed the status of completion of track up-gradation works on Baltal&Chandanwari routes up to the shrine cave, improvements at the access control gates, establishment of camps, shelter sheds, health/medical camps and Emergency Operation Centers (EOCs) at various locations, provision of drinking water supply, lighting, LPG, ration, Medicine and mobile connectivity besides establishment of Joint Control Rooms. 

Timelines were finalized for completion of various works and putting in place all arrangements before June, 25, 2019 for smooth commencement of the Yatra.

It was informed that Camp Directors, Additional Camp Directors and Deputy Camp Directors drawn from the Civil and Police Administration will be in position by June-25, 2019. Chief Secretary emphasized that SoP for Camp Directors should be devised to make it mandatory for them to hold a brief morning meeting with all the Officers on a daily basis. “This will result in improved team work and coordination to deal with contingencies”, he said and added that the Camp directors be vested with magisterial powers for their smooth functioning.

DGP, J&K informed that for the Yatra-2019, 11 Mountain Rescue Teams (MRTs) of J&K Police besides 4 NDRF Teams supplemented by the rescue teams drawn from SDRF and CRPF etc will be deployed at various locations to deal with various contingencies.

The Chief Secretary directed that the units of Civil, Police, Medical teams and MRTs etc being deployed at various locations should be kept at one place or in vicinity for quick response and better coordination for management of the Yatra.

Arrangements put in place by the Sonmarg and Pahalgam Development Authorities and the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) for disposal of Solid, Liquid Waste as would be generated during the Yatra period were discussed in detail. Secretary Tourism was asked to coordinate with the Housing & Urban Development Department for scientific disposal of the waste.

Arrangements with regard to registration and medical screening of Ponies against Glander’s disease and establishment of Veterinary Camps, staff and provision of medicine by the Animal and Sheep Husbandry Department were also reviewed. Principal Secretary, Animal & Sheep Husbandry/Transport Department was asked to visit Sonmarg and Pahalgam for taking stock of the various arrangements.

To facilitate the Yatris, Chief Secretary directed that leaflets of Do’s and Don’ts along with a small sketch of the Yatra route indicating the road and the trekking path, facilities en-route should be distributed to all the Yatris so that they know the nearest service point and avail the required assistance. He also directed for installation of signage along the entire Yatra route including the National Highway for convenience of Yatris.

Disaster Management Department was asked to tie up with the Information department to ensure that regular weather report is broadcast on the national media and various TV channels for information of the Yatris.