First batch of 2234 pilgrims flagged off from Jammu
Governor’s Advisor, K K Sharma flags off the first batch of devotees for the Amarnath Yatra on Sunday. Pic:Mir Imran /GK

First batch of 2234 pilgrims flagged off from Jammu

Governor's Advisor, K K Sharma, today flagged off the first batch of devotees for the AmarnathYatra after conducting a Puja at the Jammu base camp.

The batch comprised 2234 pilgrims including 45 Sadhus leftfor both the base camps Chandanwari in Pahalgam, and Baltal in South Kashmir—in a convey of 93 escorted vehicles including 3 bikes at around 4:40 AM aftertraditional Pooja at the base camp in Jammu.

For Baltal base camp, as many as 1006 pilgrims comprising793 males, 203 females and 10 children left at around 4.40 am in 45 vehiclesincluding three bikes.

For Chandanwari, 1228 pilgrims including 130 females, sevenchildren and 45 Sadhus left in a protected convoy of 48 vehicles at 5.10 am.

The Central Reserve Police Force's special motorcycle squadis also part of the convey. "The camera-enabled tailor-made motorcyclesequipped with various life-saving equipment could be used as mini-ambulances tocarry one person in the time of emergency," a CRPF official said.

"These bikes accompany the yatra convoy till Jawaharlaltunnel, the last point of Jammu province, and then similar team from Kashmirtakes over," he added.

"The Yatra is a big event for us and fool-proof multi-agencyarrangements have been put in place for its success," said A V ChauhanInspector General CRPF, Jammu sector.

He said, "Yatra routes have been divided into varioussectors and technology-enabled gadgets have been pressed into service alongwith trained human resource (for smooth yatra)."

Meanwhile, Advisor Sharma expressed satisfaction over thearrangements, saying that like the previous years, "all arrangements have beenmade for the Yatra this year also".

On behalf of the government, "we went to Pahalgam and Baltalyesterday. All arrangements for the well-being of the devotees have been madeall through the route between Jammu and Srinagar," he said.

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