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J&K administration gears up for Amarnath Yatra

02:02 AM Apr 26, 2024 IST | Irfan Raina
j k administration gears  up for amarnath yatra
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Ganderbal, Apr 25:  Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) and the Jammu and Kashmir administration have geared up for the upcoming annual Amarnath Yatra scheduled to commence on June 29.

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The annual yatra to the 12,700-feet high Amarnath Cave shrine in south Kashmir will commence on June 29 and conclude on August 19, Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) announced on April 14.

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The annual yatra takes place from the twin tracks — the traditional 48-km Nunwan-Pahalgam route in Anantnag district and the 14-km shorter but steep Baltal route in Ganderbal district.

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This annual yatra attracts lakhs of devotees from far and wide who come to get a glimpse of the naturally-formed ice stalagmite within the cave shrine. The management of the cave shrine is entrusted to the SASB.

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The SASB and the J&K administration have already started preparation for the annual yatra. The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has pressed men and machinery for the snow clearance work on the Baltal base camp leading to the Amarnath cave shrine.

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An official said that the snow clearance work was in full swing and after its completion, the maintenance of the trek would be done to ensure a smooth journey for the yatris.

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Officials said that best practices from Amarnath Yatra 2023 would be emulated this year.

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About the new measures to be taken on the part of the administration to make this year’s yatra smooth and successful, they said that the Health Department would establish six base hospitals including two 100-bedded hospitals at Baltal and Chandanwari.

Officials said that 55 medical centres would be set up along with 11 medical aid centres, 12 emergency aid centres, 26 oxygen booths, and 15 on-route facilities.

They said that 17 on-route facilities would be kept on standby to address any emergencies.

Director Health Services Kashmir said that they had planned to deploy 1415 healthcare staff for the yatra, including 173 specialists, 244 medical officers, and 998 paramedics.

Of these, 754 would be sourced from J&K and 661 requested from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.

Secretary, Health and Medical Education, Syed Abid Rasheed Shah on Wednesday chaired a meeting to review healthcare arrangements being put in place for the Amarnathji Yatra.

During the meeting, the officials were directed to collaborate closely with SASB, Health Department, and security forces to ensure coordinated healthcare services for the yatris.

Shah instructed the officials to finalise all necessary arrangements before the yatra begins.

He highlighted the importance of having both portable and fixed oxygen supplies at all health centres established along the yatra route.

Shah instructed the Director Health Services Kashmir to expedite the establishment of a 100-bedded hospital by ONGC and arrange the required human resources for the hospital.

He also stressed the need to make sure that all essential medicines and medical equipment were readily available for the yatris.

Shah emphasised the importance of facilitating a seamless and hassle-free yatra experience for the yatris.

He directed for ensuring that requisite healthcare staff should be readily available at all healthcare institutions, especially on highways and at critical points along the yatra route.

Shah called for the implementation of a quick and reliable emergency response system at all levels and instructed the officials to ensure the deployment of ambulances along the yatra route. He asked for keeping the 102 and 108 Ambulance systems on alert during the yatra.

Director Health Services Kashmir provided an overview of the planned healthcare arrangements for the yatra.

Deputy Director Health Services, Jammu, the Nodal Officer for AmarnathYatra Jammu Division, provided the details of medical arrangements on the yatra routes from Lakhanpur to Banihal.

Similarly, the Kashmir Power Distribution Corporation Limited (KPDCL) has also started work for the restoration of power supply connectivity from the Baltal base camp to the cave shrine.

Managing Director KPDCL Mussarat Zia along with senior officials recently visited Baltal and Dumail areas to review the preparations.

He asked the officials to ensure that the work was completed ahead of the yatra.

The district administration Ganderbal and Anantnag have also been working on the preparations and arrangements for a successful Amarnath yatra.

Last year around 4.70 lakh yatris paid obeisance at the Amarnath cave shrine.

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