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Amarnath Yatra: Govt mulls to set up 28 base hospitals on twin tracks for pilgrims

Jammu: With the final announcement of this year’s 43-day Shri Amarnath Yatra starting from June 30, the Jammu and Kashmir administration is on toes to give final shape to all the arrangements like health facilities, security, transport, basic amenities and other needs.

For better health and medical facilities, this year the administration has planned to establish nearly 28 base hospitals on twin routes leading to the cave shrine.

“As health remains an important aspect with regard to Shri Amarnath pilgrimage because many devotees are unable to bear the extreme cold conditions and also suffer cardiac arrests,” official sources said.

They said that to minimise such incidents and to provide immediate medical facilities to devotees in need, the health department is determined to provide these facilities on both the routes with dispensaries and base hospitals at different locations.

“As of now, eight base hospitals are planned on Baltal route while 20 on Pahalgam route while police and CRPF with the assistance of some NGOs will also organize medical camps en-route so that the devotees do not face any health-related problems,” sources added.

“Many pilgrims prefer the baltal route because it is a short route (16 kilometres) but due to its steep mountains, many face health issues and in view of this, the Health Department will be deploying specialist doctors on the entire route,” sources added.

They said that the Baltal will have a Base Hospital while Domel will have Medical Aid Center, Railpathri, Emergency Aid Center between Railpathri and Baradimarg, Medical Aid Center at Barari Marg, Y-junction, Kali Mata Track and Sangam will have Emergency Aid Center.

On the other hand, they said that Pahalgam is a long route and the journey is of two days, more health centers are required en-route, adding, “the first dispensary will be set up at Nunwan followed by the Medical Aid Center in Phrislan.”

Medical Aid Center and Emergency Aid Center will be set up near Pissu Top, Jojibal, Nagakoti, Sheshnag, MG Top, Poshpathri, Kellner, Dardkot, Sangam Top and Bhawan, sources added.

Apart from this, there will be base hospitals at Bhawan, Sheshnag, Panjtarni and Chandanwadi, they added.

Apart from the health department, the AYUSH department will also provide health facilities on both the routes.

Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police Dilbag Singh has already said that along with security, health facilities will also be provided by the police.

Some NGOs will also be allowed to organize medical camps.

“Some specialised doctors from the Health Department of Kashmir and Jammu, will also be posted for duty on the Yatra route especially the cardiologists, physicians and Orthopedicians.

“Health certificate to perform the pilgrimage will be mandatory for the pilgrims and travellers are to be allowed to visit the Cave Shrine only after medical examination,” they said.

In 2012, a maximum number of 107 pilgrims died due to heart attack on the Yatra route.

In 2019, when the last yatra took place and was stopped midway, by then thirty pilgrims had died due to health issues.

Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Sunday had chaired the 41st Board meeting of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board wherein it was decided that this year, the 43-day holy pilgrimage will commence on June 30 with all covid protocols in place and will culminate, as per the tradition, on the day of Raksha Bandhan, August 11.

Further, the online registration for Shri Amarnath Yatra will start from April 11.

He also said the government is introducing an RFID system for pilgrims to track their movement en-route to ensure their well-being.

Shri Amartnath Shrine board has decided that the Yatra would commence simultaneously from both the routes – the Pahalgam track in Anantnag district and Baltal in Ganderbal district.

The board has also decided to put in place a daily route-wise pilgrims ceiling to 10,000 excluding Yatri’s who would travel by helicopters.

 

 

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