Jammu, Jun 27: Amid tight security arrangements, the first batch of Amarnath pilgrims will leave from here tomorrow for the hold cave shrine situated at an altitude of 14000 feet in the South Kashmir Himalayas in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir.
Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh will flag off the first batch from Bhagwati Nagar based Yatri Niwas base camp here.
“Pilgrims from different parts of the country have arriving at the base camp and the first batch will leave from here tomorrow,” an official here said.
They said that all arrangements are in place and various state departments are engaged in catering the pilgrims.
“Besides basic facilities, security has also been put in place with heavy deployment of troops including the J&K Police and para-military troops,” they added.
CRPF men are deployed inside the base camp and around it to prevent any kind of untoward like incident, they said adding, “private community kitchen (langar) have also been installed at the venue while food court has also been put in place by the Tourism Department to provide meals and snacks at nominal rates to the pilgrims.”
Meanwhile pamphlets and advisories have also been published by the department for distribution among the pilgrims having ‘do’s’ and dont’s’ for them while performing pilgrimage, said an official.
However, four current registration counters in Jammu have also been installed for the pilgrims to avoid inconvenience to them during rush, they said and added, ”pilgrims are also asked to undergo a medical check up to get clean chit for the Health officials available at the venue to perform yatra.”
Sources further said that unregistered yatries will not be allowed to perform pilgrimage, adding, ”there is a capacity of housing over 1500 pilgrims in Yatri Niwas but during rush, the pilgrims will be accommodated at Asa Ram Bapu Ashram.”
Jammu and Kashmir Minister for Forests, Environment and Ecology Choudhary Lal Singh today flagged off the first batch of pilgrims of Shri Amarnath Yatra from Lakhanpur in Kathua district-a gateway to J&K from Punjab.
Interacting with the pilgrims, Singh said that government has made adequate arrangements for smooth conduct of the Yatra right from Lakhanpur to Amaranth Cave Shrine.
He said the state is fully geared up to provide foolproof security to the yatries besides facilities like drinking water, medicare, and electricity at base camps from Lakhanpur to cave shrine.
The Minister sought public cooperation in maintaining cleanliness on Yatra route by avoiding plastic bags.
He also made an appeal to the people to undertake yatra only after proper medical checkup and registration.
Deputy Commissioner Kathua Ramesh Kumar said that district administration has made adequate arrangements for yatra and teams of civil and police department shall work round the clock for convenience of the yatries.
So far 2.12 lakh pilgrims have registered themselves at various registration counters across the country for the yatra while for the first time registration counters have also been set up in the Ladakh region.