Srinagar: While all out efforts are underway to clear the Amarnath Yatra track at Mahagunas Top, the Army has completed its deployments for about 50-km long route of the yatra from Pahalgam side of Anantnag district in south Kashmir.
The route map for the yatra from south Kashmir’s Anantnag district starts from Pahalgam, then to Chandanwadi-Pissu Top-Zoji Bal-Naga Koti-Sheshnag-Warbal-Mahagunas Top-Pabibal-Panchtarni-Sangam-Amarnath cave shrine.
The base camp for Amarnath Yatra is at Pahalgam to Chandanwari.
This distance is approximately 16 km. Then from Chandanwari, a 13-km trek takes yatris to Sheshnag and a further 4.6 km trek to Panchtarni. From there, a 2-km walk takes yatris to the Amarnath cave shrine.
“The deployment along the route has almost been completed by the Army,” a senior Army officer posted in south Kashmir said.
He said that the peaks and forest areas along the route were being sensitised and observation points were being established.
The senior officer said that the track was almost clear.
However, a small part of the track at Mahagunas Top is under snow.
“All out efforts by the Border Roads Organisation (Project BEACON) are underway to clear the track of snow,” he said. “Hopefully, the track will be cleared in a day or two. The area has recorded heavy snowfall this year.”
The officer said that on Sunday GOC-in-Chief Northern Command Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi visited the yatra route and was briefed about the overall security for the annual yatra.
GOC 15 Corps, Lt Gen Rajiv Ghai, outgoing GOC Victor Force, Major Gen Prashant Srivastava, and Commander 1 Sector Rashtriya Rifles accompanied him besides other officers.
Northern Command on their Twitter wrote: “#LtGenUpendraDwivedi, #ArmyCdrNC visited #Panjtarni astride Southern Route for #AmarnathYatra to review security arrangements. Status of deployment of #security forces & opening of Southern Route affected by heavy #snowfall this season and the preparatory arrangements were reviewed. He interacted with troops and appreciated their tireless efforts being put in despite adverse weather conditions (sic).”
In another tweet Northern Command said that GoC-in-Chief Northern Command reviewed the security and operational preparedness for Amarnath Yatra 2023 along the northern and southern routes.
“The Army Commander had a comprehensive briefing with all stakeholders including Chief Engineer Project BEACON, praising the "All Inclusive Approach" to synergise efforts. The review encompassed multi-tiered #security measures, #medical facilities, helipads, habitat construction, deployment of emergency rescue teams, and seamless communication network operationalised for successful conduct of Yatra-2023,” it said in another tweet.
Another senior Army officer posted in south Kashmir said that the Army would provide environmental security to secure all the approaches to yatra, including both the Chandanwari and Baltal routes.
He said aerial surveillance of the route had been started.
“A joint control with police and paramilitary forces will be established soon,” the Army officer said. “Additional unmanned aerial vehicles are being deployed for surveillance of the yatra route and cave shrine. We are also carrying out search operations in forest areas along the yatra route.”
He said that they would keep modifying the security plan to meet the threats as and when they emerge.