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Preparations underway for Annual Amarnath Yatra ‘Authorities focus on security, logistics, facilities for smooth pilgrimage, starting from June 29’

Ishtiyaq Kar

Srinagar, May 27: Authorities have initiated extensive preparations for this year’s annual Shri Amarnath Yatra, focusing on comprehensive arrangements to ensure a smooth and secure pilgrimage.
With the Yatra set to commence on June 29, all aspects, including security, logistical support, and facilities for pilgrims, are being meticulously organized.
The efforts are being made to enhance security, streamline logistics, and provide improved facilities to ensure the successful conduct of the Yatra.
“This year’s pilgrimage promises to be well-coordinated and secure, allowing devotees to focus on their spiritual journey with peace of mind,” officials informed.
The Labour Department has also commenced the registration of local workers who will provide essential services for this year’s annual Amarnath Yatra.
Authorities are implementing an online registration process to streamline the enlistment of service providers such as laborers, ponywalas, pithu walas, and others.
This initiative, available in every district, aims to facilitate a smoother and more efficient registration process.
“Field officers are actively coordinating with service providers to ensure their timely registration. To raise awareness and encourage participation, on-the-spot registration camps are being organized across various locations, benefiting numerous laborers. These efforts are intended to guarantee that all service providers are duly registered and prepared for the Yatra,” one of the officials of the labour department, said.
Last year, the Labour Department registered 32,819 service providers, including 15,903 ponywalas, 10,023 palki and dandiwalas, and 6,893 pithuwalas for the Yatra.
Meanwhile in light of the upcoming Yatra, extensive security measures are being implemented to ensure the safety of the pilgrims.
The Amarnath Yatra, scheduled between June 29 and August 19 this year, will be secured by a three-layer security system managed by the Jammu and Kashmir Police, CRPF, and the Army.
High-tech surveillance, both ground-based and aerial, will be employed to maintain security along the entire route.
Adequate security arrangements will cover all points of arrival, including airports, railway stations, and bus stations, as well as the yatris’ accommodation, base camps, and the routes from Baltal and Pahalgam leading to the cave shrine.
Recently, IGP Kashmir held a comprehensive discussion on the forthcoming Yatra, conducting a detailed security review of all locations en route, including transit camps and base camps at Baltal and Domail.
To bolster security for the pilgrims, additional security personnel from paramilitary forces will be deployed from Lakhanpur to the Cave Shrine starting June 20.
Officials acknowledge the annual challenge of ensuring the Yatra’s smooth conduct amid potential threats from anti-national elements. However, they express confidence in the capabilities of the security forces to handle any situation.
Snipers and sharpshooters will be strategically deployed at various locations, and the Yatra convoy will be escorted by security personnel equipped with advanced technical gadgets.
Security will also be heightened along the Line of Control and the International Border to prevent any cross-border disruptions.
The Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) has taken significant steps to improve facilities for the pilgrims.
These include widened tracks, continuous helicopter services, additional accommodations, and an easier registration process. The board is also ensuring more hygienic langars for the pilgrims. Efforts are underway to provide additional accommodation, particularly to address situations where the Yatra might be halted due to adverse weather conditions.
The annual Amarnath Yatra will commence on June 29 and conclude on August 19.(KNS)

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