Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) in its 40th board meeting, presided by J&K LG and board chairman Manoj Sinha, held on Saturday announced that the 56-day annual Amarnath Yatra will commence from June 28 simultaneously along both the Baltal and Chandanwari routes in Kashmir and conclude on August 22.
The date and the duration of the Yatra has been decided keeping safety and security of the pilgrims in mind. All the Covid-19 SOPs declared by the government will be followed during the Yatra.
Advance registration of pilgrims will commence from April 1, 2021 through 446 designated branches of Punjab National Bank, Jammu and Kashmir Bank and YES Bank, located in 37 States and UTs.
The board will also enable the live telecast of morning and evening Aarti for devotees across the globe. The pilgrims can also download the “Shri Amarnathji Yatra” app available on Google play store to get the real time information about the Yatra and to avail several services online.
The board also deliberated at length on the number of Yatris who would be allowed to register, date-wise and route-wise, for this year’s Yatra. Considering the carrying capacity of the existing tracks and other available infrastructure in the Yatra area, the board has decided to enhance the daily route-wise Yatri ceiling from 7500/Day/Route to 10,000/Day/Route, excluding Yatris who would travel by helicopters.
The LG also directed for the issuance of special invitations to Akhada Parishads, Acharya Parishads and exploring possibility of establishing counters at prominent religious places across the country for facilitation of saint community.
Laying special emphasis on providing best-in-class healthcare facilities to all the visiting devotees and service providers, the LG directed the concerned officers to upgrade the present healthcare facilities on both yatra routes with latest equipments and augment strength of the medical staff to handle emergency cases.
On strengthening the communication channel, Sinha directed for making the telecom services operational two weeks prior to the commencing of Yatra across the routes.
It was further directed to upgrade the sanitation capacity commensurate with the enhanced Yatra volume for base camp and along the routes.
The board also approved the increment of remunerations for Pujaris from existing Rs 1,000 per day to Rs 1,500 per day for the next three years.
Further, as directed by the LG in January 5, 2021 preparatory meeting, the group accidental insurance cover for Yatris, service providers was also enhanced from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 5 lakh and for ponies from Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000.
Introduction of RFID tracking and prepaid hiring of services for putting in place for strengthened online digital system was also discussed.
The board also advised the CEO to appeal to all the potential pilgrims to consult their doctors before embarking on the pilgrimage. The CEO shall also widely publicize that no person below the age of 13 years and above the age of 75 years shall be permitted to undertake the pilgrimage.
Appreciating the important services rendered by the Langar Organisations, the board looked to their continued support during Yatra 2021.