Day 3: 14000 pilgrims pay obeisance at Amarnath cave shrine

On the third day of the Amarnath Yatra, nearly 14,000 pilgrims paid obeisance at the naturally formed ice lingam in the cave shrine on Wednesday, even as four devotees had to be airlifted for medical attention, officials said.

 “As many as 13,835 yatris paid obeisance at the cave shrine (on Wednesday). Till date, 33,694 pilgrims had a darshan of the Shivling at the holy cave,” a spokesman for the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) said.

He said that on the directions of Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik, who is also the chairman of the SASB, four pilgrims were airlifted from various halting stations for medical treatment.  “One yatri was airlifted from Panjtarni and referred to Medical Hospital Pahalgam for treatment while three others were airlifted from Sheshnag,” he added.

The spokesman said the Governor has directed the authorities to provide best medical facilities to the sick pilgrims.

The yatra to the cave shrine commenced Monday from both Baltal and the Pahalgam routes in Kashmir.

Multi-tier security arrangements have been made for the smooth and successful conduct of the yatra concluding on August 15.

As many as 2.85 lakh pilgrims paid obeisance at the shrine last year, while the number of pilgrims was 3.52 lakh in 2015, 3.20 lakh in 2016 and 2.60 lakh in 2017. (With inputs from PTI) 

Advisor Kumar performs pooja, reviews arrangements  

Meanwhile, Governor’s Advisor K Vijay Kumar on Wednesday paid obeisance at Amarnath cave shrine. On the occasion, the Advisor performed pooja at the shrine and prayed for peace, progress and prosperity in the state.

The Advisor also reviewed the all necessary arrangements made for the smooth conduct of the annual pilgrimage and also took appraisal of the facilities being provided for pilgrims en-route, at the holy cave and at all the camps.

At holy cave, K Vijay Kumar held a brief meeting with the Camp Director Rajnish Kumar, Additional CEO SASB Anup Soni, SP Camp, senior doctors and other concerned officers deployed there.

He enquired from the officers regarding overall conduct of yatra, number of yatris visiting the holy cave in a day, availability of oxygen cylinders, drugs en-route and at all the medical points established, sanitation activities, operation of langers and quality of food being made available there and other important issues.

He stressed on availability of oxygen cylinders including portable one in sufficient number en-route and especially at holy cave being at high altitude. He asked the health authorities to provide best and timely treatment to the yatris whenever need arises.

The Advisor asked the officers to monitor the weather updates on daily basis and act accordingly so that the yatris do not face any inconvenience.

It was instructed that the pony dung and other kind of debris on the whole track must be cleaned and plastic water bottles and other stuff also be removed and dumped at identified places.

The Advisor also interacted with the pilgrims and asked them about the facilities that are being made available for them. The pilgrims were satisfied with the arrangements and said that they are enjoying their pilgrimage and visit to the state.

K Vijay Kumar visited the base hospital at Panjtarni and took appraisal of health services being provided to the patients. The concerned senior doctor on duty briefed him about the working of the hospital and treatment being given to the yatris being admitted for treatment.

The Advisor asked the doctors and others medical staff to put in their best efforts in providing best services to the yatris and to take better care of them.

Later, he was also briefed about the security arrangements by the senior officers of police, army and paramilitary forces deployed on duty.