Saturday, June 25, 2011

Registration for Unregistered Amarnath Pilgrims

Both tracks Baltal and Pahalgam ready for yatra On-spot registration for unregistered pilgrims

In a significant decision, Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) has decided to allow unregistered pilgrims to proceed to Baba Amarnath shrine from here after duly registering them at Jammu Yatri Niwas, Canal Road, which serves as base camp of the holy cave shrine in South Kashmir Himalayas.

The Shrine Board decision would help a lot of pilgrims, who have failed to register themselves either through online or with designated branches of Jammu and Kashmir Bank, Yes Bank and some Co-operative Banks.

For convenience of the pilgrims, a registration counter is being opened at Yatri Niwas, Canal Road where the pilgrims would be given on spot registration. However, the registration would be done in such a way that daily quota of the pilgrims didn’t exceed 10,000.

Official sources said only 10,000 pilgrims (5,000 each from forward base camps of Nunwan in Pahalgam and Baltal) would be allowed to proceed to Shri Amarnath ji shrine per day.

SASB Chief Executive Officer (CEO) R K Goyal told that over 2.4 lakh pilgrims have so far been registered for the yatra with different banks as well as on-line.

He said snow clearance operations were a continued process as it kept on snowing even during the days of yatra on twin tracks of Pahalgam and Baltal but the Shrine Board was determined to start the pilgrimage from Yatri Niwas, the base camp of Jammu, on June 28 and forward base camps of Baltal and Nunwan on June 29.

"All arrangements are in place. Snow clearance operations from entire track were going on expeditiously. Everything, hopefully would be in place on June 29’’, Mr Goyal said.

Meanwhile, sources said, keeping in view the rush of Mata Vaishno Devi pilgrims and arrival of some other unregistered yatris, there was every possibility that a number of these pilgrims would reach Yatri Niwas, Canal Road, the base camp of the shrine and try to proceed towards Amarnath shrine to have a glimpse of Lord Shiva’s holy Ice Lingam, which is in full bloom.

For such pilgrims, the Shrine Board was expected to open on spot registration for the yatris through Jammu and Kashmir Bank by setting up a counter at the Yatri Niwas itself to facilitate pilgrims to proceed to Baba Amarnath’s holy cave shrine but with valid registration.

Sources said instructions have been passed to security agencies and police at forward base camps of Pahalgam and Baltal to ensure that unregistered yatris are not allowed to leave for the holy cave shrine. Only 10,000 registered yatris would be allowed for darshan from Nunwan and Baltal (5,000 from each track) every day.

The number was restricted to ensure that the pilgrims don’t face any hardships enroute the tracks even in case of adverse weather conditions.

All 130 langars at base camps, highways and twin tracks have started setting up their units at the places entitled to them. The langars would be ready by June 29.

Meanwhile, in Jammu, the civil administration had kept various lodgment centers mostly the community centers and halls of social and religious organizations ready to meet with rush of the yatris if pilgrimage is stopped for one or two days due to weather conditions on the yatra tracks.

Deputy Commissioner, Jammu, Sanjeev Verma said authorities have identified various lodgment centers where the pilgrims would be lodged if the Yatri Niwas at Canal Road was overcrowded. He added that enough space has been identified for lodging of the pilgrims.

According to sources, deployment of Army, para-military forces and Jammu and Kashmir Police has already begun all along Pathankot-Jammu and Jammu-Srinagar National Highways, the base camp of Yatri Niwas, the forward base camps of Nunwan and Baltal and twin yatra tracks.

The deployment would be completed before June 28.

Army is being deployed to man the heights of Shri Amarnath ji shrine while para-military forces and police would take control of security arrangements at tracks and base camps.

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