'All security arrangements in place for Amarnath Yatra'

Divisional Commissioner Jammu Sanjeev Verma on Monday said that elaborate security arrangements have been put in place for smooth conduct of Amarnath Yatra.

Addressing media here the Divisional Commissioner said that police and paramilitary forces have been deployed in adequate strength along Srinagar-Jammu national highway for security of Yatris.

The annual Amarnath Yatra will commence on July 1 and conclude on August 15 this year.

Verma said proper arrangements have also been put in place for accommodation of pilgrims. “This year, we have established 80 halting centres in Kathua, Samba, Jammu, Udhampur and Ramban district for accommodating around 5000-6000 pilgrims, if need arises owing to bad weather,” Verma said, adding that separate halting points for busses carrying pilgrims have also been established.

Flanked by Director Tourism Jammu OP Bhagat, the Divisional Commissioner said that keeping in view safety of the pilgrims visiting the shrine in south Kashmir, additional number of CCTV cameras have been installed along the highway.

Besides, the Divisional Commissioner said, more than 60 kilometers of under-construction highway stretch has been improved to avoid traffic congestion on the ever-busy Jammu-Srinagar highway.

The Divisional Commissioner informed that permits for setting up 100 langars along the highway, between Kathua and Ramban districts, have been issued and Food Safety Officers have been directed to ensure that pilgrims are served clean and hygienic food in the langars.

He said requisite of critical care ambulances will escort Yatris this year and facility of mobile toilets have also been kept for Yatris en-route the shrine.

The Divisional Commissioner also said that the Bhagwati Nagar Jammu base camp for pilgrims has also been given a face-lift.

“A provisional store to provide Yatris SIM cards has been established at the base camp. Further, stalls of handloom products, catering and medical services have also been setup at the base camp,” he said.

According to the Divisional Commissioner, the Tourism Department will also offer range of facilities to the Amarnath pilgrims visiting the Jammu City in advance and launch a campaign to encourage them to visit other picturesque tourist-pilgrim destinations of Jammu including Shiv Khori shrine, Vaishno Devi shrine, Siar Fall, Ambaran, Jia Pota Ghat, Akhnoor, Surinsar and Mansar.

To a question the Divisional Commissioner said “Yatra security has always been our top priority”.