Governor reviews Amarnath Yatra arrangements

Srinagar: Governor N N Vohra, Chairman of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board, reviewed the arrangements being made for the Yatra which is scheduled to commence on June 28, 2018.
Umang Narula, Principal Secretary to Governor and Chief Executive Officer of the Shrine Board; Shri Bhupinder Kumar, Addl. CEO; R K Pandita, General Manager (Works) SASB and other concerned officers attended the review meeting held today at Raj Bhavan, Srinagar.
Narula informed Governor that till now 1,91,073 Yatris have secured Advance Registration through the designated branches of Punjab National Bank, JK Bank and YES Bank and, besides, under the Group Registration facility and registration facility for Ex-India pilgrims. This number includes 17,208 Yatris who have obtained helicopter tickets till June 12.
Governor reviewed the to-date position regarding all issues relating to the restoration of the tracks on both the routes and installation of safety railings at the various identified vulnerable stretches, particularly the Railpathri-Brarimarg-Kali Mata track.
The Governor was informed about the logistical facilities being arranged for the Yatra, particularly those relating to power, water supply and medical facilities in the entire Yatra area.
It was reported that the Army, CRPF and the State Police formations have started reaching the areas of the upper Yatra Camps.
Narula informed that to augment the existing toilets and baths, 529 new toilets (286 Indian and 243 European) and 100 baths for Yatra 2018 were being installed. During this year’s Yatra, a total of 2750 toilets and 516 baths shall be installed by the Shrine Board in the Yatra Camps and en-route (along with appropriate waste disposal facility) for the convenience of the Yatris. For discouraging the use of plastic bottles in the Yatra area, 52 stainless steel water storage tanks/ water dispensers are being installed in the Yatra Camps and enroute. For easier collection of used water bottles, Shrine Board is installing 80 Bottle Catchers at conspicuous locations along the Yatra route.
The plastic bottles are brought down and shredded in Shredding Machines at Base Camps of Nunwan and Baltal. The Shrine Board shall also propagate the use of cloth bags, as an alternative to plastic bags, in the Yatra area.
In order to keep the Yatra area clean and promote the segregation of wastes into bio-degradable and non-bio-degradable at source, the Shrine Board shall install 1465 colour coded dustbins (293 Yellow colour for medical wastes; 586 Blue colour for biodegradable wastes; and 586 Green colour, for Non biodegradable wastes), with pictorial signages, in the Yatra area.
Narula informed the Governor about the arrangements being made by the Divisional Administration of Kashmir for dealing with any disaster situation and deployment of teams of Mountain Rescue Teams of J&K Armed Police, Avalanche Rescue teams of SDRF, CRPF and NDRF in the Yatra area. In this context, he apprised Governor about the Table Top and Mock Exercises to be conducted by National Disaster Management Authority at Baltal and Pahalgam from June 19 to June 25.
Consequent to the Review the Governor directed CEO to take urgent action to ensure complete registration of Ponies, Pony-wallas, Dandiwallas and Palki-wallas and see that no unauthorized person embarks on the Yatra tracks.
Arrangements regarding the provision of safety measures at the Baltal and Nunwan Base Camps, particularly Fire and Emergency Services, were also reviewed. Governor directed that the senior State Government officers who are deployed for Yatra duty as Camp Directors, Additional Camp Director & Deputy Camp Directors should be particularly sensitized about their responsibility to ensure sanitation in the Yatra area; they should undertake daily monitoring of cleanliness in their respective jurisdictions.
Governor further directed that the Deputy Commissioners of Ganderbal and Anantnag districts should ensure that only good quality tents and beddings are provided by the persons who are granted permission to pitch tents in the Camps.