46-day Amarnathyatra to begin on July 1

The annual Amarnathyatra will begin on July 1 and last for 46 days, the Amarnath shrine broad said on Thursday.

In a statement issued after the conclusion of the 36th SASB meeting which was chaired by governor Satya Pal Malik, an official spokesman said: “Regarding the duration and date of commencement of yatra 2019, based on the approach set out by the Sri Sri Ravi Shankar committee, which had been constituted to advise the Board regarding the duration and schedule of future yatras, the board—keeping in view the foremost concern of the safety and security of the pilgrims—decided that a 46-day yatra would commence on 1 July 2019, an auspicious day of MasikShivratri as per Hindu calendar and conclude on ShravanPurnima (RakshaBandhan) on 15 August, 2019”.

The board, the spokesman said, deliberated at length on the number of yatris to be allowed to register, date-wise and route-wise, for this year’s pilgrimage.  “Considering the carrying capacity of the existing tracks and other available infrastructure in the yatra area, the board decided that 7,500 yatris per-day (on each of the two routes)— excluding yatris who would travel by helicopters—would be allowed to secure advance registration for the pilgrimage.”

The board noted that the steps taken by chief executive officer (CEO) for registration of pilgrims through 440 designated branches of the Punjab National Bank, Jammu and Kashmir Bank and YES Bank—located in 32 states and UTs—and directed him to take all required steps to commence advance registration of pilgrims from 1 April 2019, the statement read, adding: “The board approved proposal for online registration of limited number of intending pilgrims per-day on pilot basis which will be in addition to the existing modes of registration.” The board directed that wide publicity be given through electronic and print media, informing the intending yatris to timely secure the prescribed compulsory health certificates issued by the doctors/hospitals nominated by the states or UTs where they reside and “only thereafter proceed to seek advance registration from the nearest located designated Bank, which would issue the pilgrim a yatra permit which shall be valid for specified date and route.” The board also advised the CEO to appeal to all the potential pilgrims to consult their doctors before embarking on the pilgrimage.

“The CEO shall also widely publicise that no person below the age of 13 years and above the age of 75 years shall be permitted to undertake the pilgrimage,” the statement read. The board directed the CEO to caution all potential pilgrims to particularly take into account the difficult climate and terrain in the high-altitude region of the yatra and prepare themselves fully before embarking on the pilgrimage. It also requested the intending pilgrims to make themselves physically fit for the arduous yatra by taking regular walk and exercise, the statement read. “As in the past, the awareness campaign would be launched with the cooperation and support of the ministry of information and broadcasting and all information relating to yatra will be placed on the board’s website www.shriamarnathjishrine.com”, the statement read.

The 36th SASB meeting, presided over by chairman Satya Pal Malik, was attended by chief secretary BVR Subrahmanyam, members of the board including Swami AvdheshanandGiriJiMaharaj, D C Raina; PtBhajanSopori; Prof Anita Billawaria; DrSudershan Kumar; Dr C M Seth; TriptaDhawan and Prof VishwamurtiShastri. “K K Sharma, consultant Yatri Welfare, SASB also participated in the meeting as a special invitee., while UmangNarula, chief executive officer; Anup Kumar Soni, additional chief executive officer and other senior officers of the Board also attended the meeting,” the statement read.