Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], June 9 (ANI): Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha on Thursday reviewed the preparations for the annual pilgrimage of Amarnath Yatra.
According to an official statement, "All the work is to be completed within the set timeline and officials to ensure optimum use of technology to make the yatra safer and more convenient for the pilgrims."
"All senior officials to periodically inspect the security and every aspect of world-class arrangements, transport, lodging, sanitation, electricity, water, communication, health, convenience shops, food courts, vending zones etc for Amarnath yatris," it added.
Earlier, Director-General of Jammu and Kashmir Police Dilbag Singh also visited Yatra camps at FC Mir-bazaar, Walnut Factory Qazigund and Lamber in Ramban on Wednesday and reviewed security arrangements for the pilgrims.
Notably, this year, the pilgrims can also avail helicopter service directly from Srinagar for the yatra.
Considering the heavy tourist rush on the Amarnath Yatra route, the top official sources confirmed that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has directed the Jammu and Kashmir administration to start the helicopter service for pilgrims directly from Srinagar to Panchtarni, the last stop point located at an elevation of 3,500 metres from where a six-kilometre trek takes pilgrims to the holy Amarnath cave.
The helicopter facility was so far available for the pilgrims from Baltal and Pahalgam-- the twin route to reach Amarnath temple-- to reach Panchtarni from where pilgrims either walk or take help of ponies and palanquin facility.
The purpose behind the new helicopter route is to reduce the rush on road through Pahalgam and Baltal, which, in turn, will certainly be safe for pilgrims amid threats by terror groups to disrupt the pilgrimage, said another official.
According to the official, "For the safe and secure pilgrimage, special gadgets are learnt to be used by security personnel during the pilgrimage and drone services have been enhanced to keep a tab on each and every activity from a Centralised control room."
About three lakh pilgrims are likely to take part in the pilgrimage to the cave shrine located in the upper reaches of south Kashmir.
While online registration has already begun, the pilgrimage is scheduled to be held for 43 days between June 30 and August 11.
The Amarnath shrine pilgrimage to the 3,880-metre-high cave shrine of Lord Shiva, located in the upper reaches of the Himalayas. (ANI)