Amarnath Yatra: Govt may allow pilgrimage from Baltal route with cap on devotees

Jammu: Against the backdrop of COVID-19 pandemic, the final words officially from the Jammu and Kashmir administration are yet awaited on the commencement of annual Shri Amarnath Yatra but the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board likely to nod for pilgrimage from the Baltal route for limited days with cap on pilgrims.

Top sources in the administration said that through unconfirmed, but some good news have poured in that the Shrine Board can allow the yatra from the Baltal route for a limited number of days with a cap on pilgrims in view of pandemic.

However, sources said that the Shrine Board has also invited tenders for cleaning, maintenance and other arrangements on the Baltal route on June 7, which hints that the administration is considering the start of the Yatra from the Baltal route.

The yatra this year has to start from June 28 to August 22 and in view of the situation outbreak due to Corona, the board had stopped the advance registration midway, which triggered confusion about the start of the journey and the government has not yet clarified the situation regarding the visit.

Recently, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has also discussed the matter with the Union Home Secretary and Union Home Minister in Delhi regarding Amarnath Yatra.

The Lieutenant Governor has said that no decision has been taken yet regarding Baba Amarnath Yatra as the situation is being monitored and the decision will be taken accordingly.

“The Shrine Board has invited tenders for cleaning of toilets, camps and maintaining Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) at Baltal besides septic tank at Neelgrath helipad,” sources said.

They added that the last date for submission of tender was fixed as June 15, adding, “the repair and maintenance of the Baltal route has already started.”

Last year also, due to COVID pandemic, Amarnath yatra could not be performed.

They further added that the District Administration, Ganderbal has asked people between the age group of 18 and 44, who have to render various services during the Amarnath Yatra, to visit the vaccination centers and get the jabs.

Meanwhile, sources added that the devotees, who would be unable to visit the Shri Amarnath Cave Shrine, will be able to watch live telecast of Aarti from the cave on their television screens on MH One Prime channel daily from June 28 to August 22 at 0600 hours to 1830 hours from 1700 hours to 1750 hours.


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