Kashmir all set to host biggest Amarnath Yatra

'Pilgrimage goes hi-tech; yatra to act as major boost for local economy, tourism'
Kashmir all set to host biggest Amarnath Yatra
Pertinently, 2.5 lakh Yatris have registered for the pilgrimage so far. The Amarnath temple, considered one of the most sacred shrines for Hindus, is a popular pilgrimage destination for Hindu devotees. File/ GK

Srinagar: In what would exemplify Kashmir’s quintessential communal harmony and brotherhood yet again, 43 day-long Amarnath Yatra is scheduled to start on June 30 from the twin routes – traditional 48-km Nunwan in South Kashmir’s Pahalgam and 14-km shorter Baltal in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal after a hiatus of two years owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

Supported by hit-tech RFID for the first time, the yatra will provide a boost to Valley's economy, which has already been bolstered by a massive tourist influx this year.

Pertinently, 2.5 lakh Yatris have registered for the pilgrimage so far. The Amarnath temple, considered one of the most sacred shrines for Hindus, is a popular pilgrimage destination for Hindu devotees.

This year, the Amarnath Yatra will be one of the biggest yatras in the history of J&K as around 6-8 lakh pilgrims are expected to arrive on the pilgrimage. The registration for the Yatra is under way at over 450 bank branches and through SASB’s mobile application as well.

Pertinent to mention that Deputy Commissioner Anantnag Piyush Singla has of late undertaken extensive tours of Chandanwari.

Apart from various other arrangements, the stakeholders have been deliberating upon disaster management plan at length. Efforts have also been made to ensure that various security aspects of the yatra are taken care of. A quality committee has undertaken a quality check of tents and bedding to be used for the Yatra.

The best part about SANJY-2022 is that all departments are working in complete synergy. From the Works Department to the Department of Tourism, all the line departments are working in tandem to ensure that the Yatra is a major success.

Another highlight of the Yatra is that usage of technology and foolproof arrangements is a step towards ensuring that Kashmir becomes a hub of pilgrimage tourism and that this particular pilgrimage benefits local economy to the fullest.

IMPORTANCE OF YATRA IN COMMUNAL HARMONY:

The efforts of locals to get involved in the pilgrimage has gained momentum as all necessary services such as ponies, dandies, pithus and other utility services are carried out by them.

Thousands of service providers earn their livelihood from the Yatra in addition to the taxi walas, shop keepers, hotels and restaurants.

Around 18 sites on the National Highway have been identified where local Self-Help Groups, local handicrafts, businesses have been allotted spaces to welcome the yatris.

Many government departments have also been allotted spaces to welcome the yatris and assist them.

LED screens have been installed by the local Municipal Committees to welcome the Yatris. Conveyance facilities have also been created at the petrol pumps. This is going to provide an extra boost to the state’s economy.

Huge number of toilets have been created not just on the Yatra route but also on all roads connecting to Yatra. Tendering has been done to get dedicated teams for the cleaning of washrooms. The officials from civil administration and police have also come up with a detailed parking and traffic management plan. Parking areas have been earmarked and geotagged to avoid traffic congestion.

Adequate logistical arrangements have been put in place to ensure provisions of sufficient disaster mitigation measures at each base/transit camp. Capacities have been increased. Many disaster management centres have been set up as part of contingent planning and shall be used in case of emergencies during the Yatra. Helicopter services for Yatris from Srinagar have also been arranged.

Stringent security measures have been put in place, which include tagging of vehicles and yatris with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). This will help in knowing the precise location of the vehicles as the CRPF and other forces will pilot the Yatri’s to the base camp from where the trekking to the holy shrine begins. Talking to Greater Kashmir, Deputy Commissioner Anantnag Dr Piyush Singla said that the administration and locals are working jointly round the clock to make the Yatra successful.

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