Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Amarnath Yatra By Helicopter

Altaf flags-off Helicopter services from Baltal, Jora, Wani from Pahalgam
Amarnath Yatra commenced today on both Pahalgam and Baltal routes simultaneously with Governor, NN Vohra, paying obeisance at the Sanctum Sanctorum and performing pooja amidst chanting of Vedic Mantras.He prayed for peace, harmony, progress and prosperity in the state.He paid obeisance at the Cave shrine, along with a number of Yatris.

The Governor during his visit to the Cave Shrine early in the morning also reviewed the overall arrangements made for the Yatris and expressed satisfaction at the support extended by the State Government, Army, State Police, Central Para Military Forces and other agencies.

He stressed the need for effective supervision and monitoring on continuing basis, for ensuring smooth conduct of the pilgrimage.

Later, Minister for Forests, Mian Altaf Ahmad launched a sanitation campaign organized by Shri Amarnath Barfani Langar Organisation (SABLO) with a view to maintain cleanliness in the entire Yatra area, particularly in and around the Langar areas. In this context, the SABLO, as its first ever initiative has decided to distribute environment friendly carry bags to the Yatris, to discourage the use of polythene bags.

CEO of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB), RK Goyal, President SABLO, Vijay Thakur, General Secre-tary, SABLO, Rajan Gupta and its other functionaries were prominent among those present on the occasion. It may be recalled that the SABLO had presented a cheque of Rs. 2 lakh to the Governor in April this year as a token contribution towards the sanitation arrangements in the Amarnath Yatra area.

Deputy Commissioner, Ganderbal, Showkat Mir, SSP Ganderbal, Imtiaz Ahmad and other officers were present on the occasion.
Thereafter, the Governor visited Pahalgam and Chandanwari and reviewed the Yatra-related arrangements. He interacted with the Yatris at the Cave, Baltal, Pahalgam and Chandanwari and enquired about the arrangements. The Yatris were appreciative of the arrangements made by the Shrine Board, the State Government agencies and other service providers and thanked them for facilitating their pilgrimage.

On this occasion, the Minister for Forests, Mian Altaf Ahmad, flagged-off the helicopter services from Baltal to Panjtarni, while Minister for Tourism, Nawang Rigzin Jora, and Minister of State for Tourism and Home, Nasir Aslam Wani launched the helicopter services from Pahalgam to Panjtarni in the presence of the Governor. The Governor, who is also chairman of SASB, thanked Mian Altaf Ahmad, Jora and Wani for the strong support provided by their departments to the Shrine Board. The Deputy Commissioner, Anantnag, Kifayat Ahmad Rizvi and Chief Executive Officer, Pahalgam Development Authority, Altaf Mir were present on the occasion.

The CEO of the Shrine Board on this occasion informed that the one way heli-fare for Baltal-Panjtarni and Pahalgam-Panjtarni has been fixed at Rs 2425/- and Rs. 345 0/-, respectively. Children, in the age group of 2-12 years, will be required to pay half the aforesaid prices.

He further disclosed that from Panjtarni to the Cave, a hilly track of about 6 kms, the Yatris may travel on foot or by Ponies or Palkies, as per their wish. The CEO noted that the one way Pahalgam-Panjtarni helicopter fare has come down to Rs 3450 this year, from Rs 3800 last year.

This year’s Amarnath Yatra, which commenced from Baltal and Pahalgam this morning, will conclude on Raksha Bandhan on August 13, 2011. The registration of the Yatris for this year’s Yatra had commenced on May 10, 2011, through 149 designated Bank Branches, located all over the country.

Meanwhile, the CEO has once again appealed to the intending Yatris to embark on the pilgrimage only after obtaining, in their own interest, a valid Yatra Permit.

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