Amarnath Yatra: Unfazed by looming terror threat, hundreds of pilgrims arrive in Jammu

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STATE TIMES NEWS

Jammu: Chants of Bam Bam Bhole and Jai Barfani Baba ki rented the air as hundreds of enthusiastic pilgrims unperturbed by the looming terror threat arrived at the Bhagwati Nagar base camp here amid tight security on Tuesday to set out on a journey to cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas on Wednesday.

LG e-inaugurates SASB Yatri Niwas at Chanderkote
JAMMU: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Tuesday inaugurated Shri Amarnath Ji Shrine Board’s (SASB) Yatri Niwas at Chanderkote, Ramban through virtual mode from the Convention Centre, Canal road, Jammu.
Speaking on the occasion, the Lt Governor said that today’s inauguration of Chanderkote Yatri Niwas is an important link in the efforts of administration to organize a grand Yatra this year.
“The state-of-the-art facility, with a capacity of 3600 pilgrims, will provide huge relief and comfort to the pilgrims of Shri Amarnath Ji Yatra”, he added.
The Lt Governor observed that this picturesque Yatri Niwas spread over 23 kanals is an important stop in the journey of Baba Barfani and every effort has been made to equip the facility with all modern amenities. The project completed at a cost of Rs.47.00 crore is one of the fastest projects completed in the UT. Immediately after the site was finalized, the work on execution of the project was entrusted to CPWD in the month of April 2021 and has been completed in 14 months record time.
The Yatri Niwas has a cluster of 17 dormitories in G+2 dimensions with all modern facilities and features including barrier free environment, modern toilets, fire extinguisher equipments, signages, LED down lighters etc. in all dormitories.
Acknowledging the commitment of all those engaged with the construction of Yatri Niwas, tackling various constraints owing to geography and terrain, the Lt Governor congratulated the engineers, workers, and officials for their tremendous efforts.
The Lt Governor also expressed his gratitude to IIT Roorkee for making a significant contribution in the completion of this project.
“I have been personally monitoring all the arrangements. This year, facilities have been developed for accommodation of passengers at 8 places in the Yatra Holding Area”, he said. The Lt Governor said improvements have been made across the board to enhance the holding capacities, provide best-in-class medical, sanitation, and lodging facilities, and in many firsts, offering pilgrims the convenience of performing Yatra in a single day by starting helicopter services on new routes.
For the convenience of the Yatris reaching Jammu, camps have been set up at the airport, railway station and bus stand, which will issue RFID tags on the basis of travel slip and identity card. Further, new shelter sheds have been built on Baltal and Pahalgam Axis. Enhanced medical facilities have been made operational to cater emergency needs of Yatris.
The facility of battery car will be provided to the passengers for the distance of 2.3 kms of Baltal and Domel and optical fiber cable has been laid on the entire route of the Yatra to provide dedicated telecom connectivity to the pilgrims.
The Lt Governor said that the Amarnathji Shrine Board Android mobile app has been revamped and launched in 5 languages- Hindi, English, Punjabi, Gujarati and Telugu to facilitate Yatris with up to date information, advisories etc.
It was informed that the duty officers deputed have been given training about the SoPs of all services related to covid, health, cleanliness, waste management, monitoring of travel, food and prasad. Further, disaster related facilities have also been duly planned and mock drills have also been conducted regularly to tackle any eventuality.
Jugal Kishore Sharma, Member Parliament; Chander Mohan Gupta, Mayor Jammu; DDC Chairpersons of Jammu, Ramban, prominent personalities and religious leaders, former legislators, representatives of Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CCI), Traders Federation, besides senior administrative officers and other concerned were present on the occasion.
Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary; Mukesh Singh, ADGP, Jammu; Ramesh Kumar, Divisional Commissioner Jammu; Mussarat Islam, Deputy Commissioner, Ramban; Avny Lavasa, Deputy Commissioner, Jammu were also present.


The devotees said their unflinching faith in Lord Shiva and the security forces has encouraged them to be part of the annual Amarnath Yatra that is being organised this year after a gap of two years on account of the Covid pandemic.
The first batch of pilgrims will leave the Jammu base camp on Wednesday, officials said.
Multi-tier security has been put in place in and around the base camp, lodging centres, and registration and token centres amid deployment of over 5,000 security personnel in Jammu city, the officials said.

Div Control Room established in Div Com Office Jammu to facilitate Amarnath pilgrims
JAMMU: The Government has established a Divisional Control Room in the office of Divisional Commissioner, Jammu to facilitate the Shri Amarnathji Yatries- 2022 and notified the list and Contact Numbers of the officials attending the Control Room on rotation basis.
For any query or help, the people/ pilgrims can contact on the Landline Phone number 0191-2478993 of the Control Room.
The pilgrims can also contact Ashish Singh Manhas, Incharge Divisional Control Room on Mob No 7006457521; Ajay Sharma on Mob No 7006114365; Rohit Khajuria on Mob No 7780974761; Ashish Raina on Mob No 9797410374; Ashwani Kumar on Mob No 7006673804; Shubam Sharma on Mob No 7889368004; Rahul Mehta on Mob No 9622290544; Abhinav Khajuria on Mob No 7006518034, Varun Slathia on Mob No 7006181898 and Davinder Kumar on Mob No 9086132714.

“Na chinta na bhay, Baba Amarnath ji kee jai (Neither worry nor fear, as Baba Amarnath Ji with us),” said Vinay Kumar, who was part of 12-member group from Lucknow arrived here for his onward journey to cave shrine of Amarnath in the first batch on Wednesday. Lauding the authorities for the best possible arrangements , Kumar, said, We have full faith in Lord Shiva and our security forces .
The group members have completed their registration and got tokens from Vaishnavi Dham near railway station for their journey to cave shrine in the first batch.
“Facilities are very good and the registration process is also smooth. We are very happy with the arrangements,” Kumar said. A Bengaluru resident, Upmita, who is here with seven other members of her family, said their fear disappeared soon after reaching the base camp.
Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) is pulling out all the stops to ensure smooth pilgrimage, scheduled to begin on June 30 from Kashmir, to the holy cave shrine housing the naturally formed ice-lingam in south Kashmir Himalayas.
Over 3,000 pilgrims have arrived in Jammu and have been housed in base camp and various lodging centres, the officials said, adding that about 400 sadhus’ have also arrived in Ram Mandir camp for the yatra.
The first batch of pilgrims, including sadhus, will leave for the twin base camps of Kashmir a day ahead of the official commencement of the yatra which will culminate, according to tradition, on the day of Raksha Bandhan’ festival on August 11.
The yatra will commence on June 30 from twin routes – traditional 48-km Nunwan in south Kashmir’s Pahalgam and 14-km shorter Baltal in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal.
The scene in and around the base camp, lodging centres, registration and token counters was upbeat on Tuesday.
Around three lakh pilgrims have registered so far for the annual Amarnath Yatra, the officials said. The government, this year, has introduced a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system for pilgrims to track their movement en-route to ensure their well-being.
“Adequate security has been put in place for the base camps and lodging places in the Jammu city. Security is a major challenge,” Jammu Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Chandan Kohli said.
As many as 5,000 security personnel have been deployed in the Jammu city as part of the multi-tier security arrangement for the Amarnath Yatra, he said.
He said that security measures have also been put in place around five registration centres, three token centres, and 32 lodging centres.
Pointing to major challenges, he said there are new security threats of sticky bombs, hybrid terrorists and IEDs dropped by drones.