Amarnath Yatra: Guv reviews pace as yatra crosses one lakh mark

GJ Report
Srinagar, Jul 9: In a review meeting held here today Umang Narula, CEO, and Bhupinder Kumar, Addl. CEO of the Shrine Board, informed Governor N.N Vohra, Chairman of the Board, that on the 12th day of the ongoing Yatra, 9,606 pilgrims paid obeisance at Holy Cave and till date, 1,04,018 pilgrims had performed Darshan at the Holy Cave. CEO further informed that during the initial eleven days since the start of the Yatra, the movement of pilgrims from Jammu to Kashmir Valley was suspended on three occasions due to rains and slippery track conditions on both the Yatra routes and landslides and shooting stones between Railpathri and Brarimarg which resulted in accumulation of a large number of Yatris at Baltal and Nunwan Base Camps.
On one occasion, the movement of Yatris was stopped from Jammu to the Base Camp of Baltal and Nunwan because of security concerns.
Governor was further informed that keeping in view the safety of the Yatris, Shri Amarnath Yatra remained totally suspended on three occasions i.e. 30thJune, 4thJuly, and 5th July from both Baltal as well as Pahalgam routes and remained suspended twice from Baltal route on 29th June, and 6th July because of landslides, slippery tracks and shooting stones caused by incessant rainfall.
It is relevant to observe that CEO and the Additional CEO have been interacting daily with the officials of all the agencies engaged in the conduct of Yatra and particularly inquiring about the arrangements at the Shrine and at all the Yatra camps.
CEO further informed that 9 MRTs deployed on various stretches of the track are playing a crucial role in assisting the safe movement of Yatris in the vulnerable landslide and falling stone areas, particularly between Brarimarg and Railpathri. CEO informed that SMS messages to the registered Yatris are being sent to make them aware about the arduous nature of Yatra and, from today, a message in Hindi has also been forwarded to the Yatris cautioning them to be careful of shooting stones while moving on the Track through Bulk SMSs.
Governor N N Vohra, undertook a road journey between Poonch and Shopian on the Mughal Road today afternoon to gain a first-hand assessment about the maintenance of this prestigious road link between Rajouri- Poonch area and Kashmir Valley.
Earlier in the day, the Governor interacted with Legislators of Poonch District and chaired a meeting with State, Divisional and District level officers to take stock of various ongoing development projects in the district.
After the Review Meeting, the Governor was scheduled to fly back to Srinagar. However on being informed that he could not do so because of inclement weather conditions over the Pir Panjal range, the Governor decided to return to the Valley by the Mughal Road.
Advisor to the Governor, B B Vyas, Principal Secretary, Planning and Development, Rohit Kansal, Divisional Commissioner Jammu Sanjeev Verma, DIG Poonch, Deputy Commissioner Poonch and SSP Poonch accompanied Governor up to Peer ki Gali where Chief Engineer Mughal Road project gave a presentation about the maintenance of the Mughal Road project .
Governor also interacted with the local people along the road and certain visiting tourists and passengers at Peer ki Gali to know their experience of travelling on this road.
Governor took serious note of the poor maintenance of the Mughal Road and directed the Public Works Department (PWD) to under -take a comprehensive Audit of Maintenance Expenditure in the past 3 years.
He also sought an immediate report for the failure of repair and maintenance works.
Governor, interalia, directed that the Chief Engineer Mughal Road Project shall undertake a comprehensive Safety Audit of the Road and take all corrective steps to immediately repair the critical stretches on the Road to ensure full safety of all those who travel on this road. In response to the suggestions made by passengers, Governor ordered the construction of five Public Toilets along the Road and, besides, Resting Sheds for shelter.
He also directed that the required repairs of the Langar/Sarai building at Peer ki Gali should be urgently carried out in consultation with the Forest Department and a report sent to him. This was the first ground reconnaissance of the Mughal Road by the Governor.