BRO clears Amarnath yatra route up to Kali Mandir

Srinagar : The clearance of snow on the track leading to the Amarnath cave is currently in full swing, with the major portion of the track already cleared by the Border Roads Organization (BRO) in just one month.

Officials said that the BRO’s operations to clear snow along the route have been intensive, with modern machinery and skilled workers deployed from the Baltal base camp to the Amarnath cave.

“Within just one-month, substantial progress has been made, with the snow cleared up to Kali Mata Mandir,” officials said.

Speaking about the ongoing efforts, an official from the BRO also informed about the widening of the track, emphasizing its importance to ensure the safety and convenience of all visitors.

He outlined plans to expand the 14-kilometer track to a width of 12 to 14 feet, facilitating smoother passage for pilgrims and essential personnel during the Yatra.

It is to be noted here that for the first time, the BRO has been given control over the construction and maintenance of the Amarnath Yatra track as part of the comprehensive preparations for the annual pilgrimage to the holy cave.

Officials said that as per the directives of the UT administration, the BRO has been tasked with the crucial responsibility of clearing snow from the Baltal side leading up to the Amarnath cave.

“With the Yatra scheduled to commence on June 29 this year, the efforts to ensure a safe and accessible route for pilgrims are in full swing,” officials noted.

The traditional 14-kilometer route from Baltal in Ganderbal district to Amarnath Ghapa poses significant challenges, particularly due to its narrow and treacherous nature, exacerbated by unpredictable weather conditions.

Highlighting the tragic events of two years ago when lives were lost due to a cloudburst near the cave, officials reiterated the BRO’s commitment to preventing such incidents in the future.

“Efforts are underway to broaden the road sufficiently to accommodate ambulances and machinery, thus mitigating potential risks and ensuring prompt emergency response capabilities.”

Swami Arpitanand, also known as ‘Helmet Baba,’ who is these days camping in the Gund area of Ganderbal, lauded the efforts of the BRO and the Ganderbal administration, which, he said, is working for making the yatra seamless and hassle-free for the pilgrims.

“BRO deserves commendations for the swift work they are doing. They are already at the Kali Mata Mandir, clearing the snow and ensuring the widening of the track amid challenging conditions; while the dates have been announced, the work which the BRO is doing will ensure seamless conduct of the Yatra this year,” he said.