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First batch of yatris arrive in Kashmir

06:54 AM Jun 29, 2024 IST | Gulzar Bhat
first batch of yatris arrive in kashmir
Tight security is seen near the Baltal Base Camp in Sonmarg, Kashmir ahead of Hindu pilgrimage Amarnath Yatra. Photo: Mubashir Khan/ GK

Qazigund, June 28: The first batch of Amarnath Yatra reached Kashmir on Friday.


As soon as a stream of vehicles filled with yatris crossed the Nayug Tunnel in Qazigund, scores of people including civil society members, traders, residents, and officials from civil and Police administration welcomed the yatris.


Deputy Commissioner (DC) Kulgam, Athar Amir Khan and other senior officials garlanded the yatris upon their arrival.


The 52-day yatra began on May 28 and would conclude on August 19.


According to an official, the first batch of yatra, comprising 4603 yatris, reached Qazigund amidst elaborate security arrangements.


“From here, the yatris proceed along two routes:  the traditional 48-km Nunwan-Pahalgam route in Anantnag and 14-km Batal route in Ganderbal,” the official said.


He said that the yatris arrived in two convoys.


“While the first convoy headed towards the Ganderbal axis, the second proceeded towards Pahalgam,” the official said.

Another official at Pahalgam told Greater Kashmir that around 6 pm, a total of 2919 yatris arrived at Nunwan base camp in Pahalgam.

“Of them, 2358 are males, 395 are females, 154 sadhus, 11 children, and one is a third gender,” the official said.

He said that they would proceed towards the Amarnath Cave shrine on Saturday.

The Municipal Committee Pahalgam has made elaborate arrangements for the yatris to ensure a clean yatra.

Executive Officer Municipal Committee Pahalgam Suhail Malik told Greater Kashmir that 60 labourers and 70 sanitation workers were pressed into service to achieve a Swach yatra.

He said that they were paying special attention to hygiene and ensuring cleanliness throughout the yatra.

“Over 50 community-type toilets and dozens of urinals were installed at Nunwan base camp,” Malik said.

He said that the department hired Tulips agency for carrying Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) activities, which is a crucial component of the Swach Bharat Mission as it focuses on generating awareness among the yatris about the significance of cleanliness and hygiene.