JAMMU, DECEMBER 25, 2021: The Chief Secretary, B V R Subrahmanyam today chaired the 10th meeting of the High-Level Committee (HLC) of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) to review the preparations being made for a safe and hassle-free Shri Amarnathji Yatra 2021.

The Chief Secretary reviewed in detail the facilities for safe, smooth, and secure movement of pilgrims particularly along the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway and Baltal and Chandanwari yatra tracks up to the Holy Cave.

The Chief Secretary also reviewed the status of track up-gradation works on Baltal & Chandanwari routes, improvements at the access control gates, establishment of temporary camps, shelter sheds, health/medical camps and Emergency Operation Centers (EOCs) at various locations, provisions of drinking water supply, lighting, LPG, ration, Medicine and mobile connectivity besides establishment of Joint Control Rooms as per NDMA suggestion.

He enjoined upon the administration to undertake preparations for an expected footfall of 6 lakh yatris this year. To further ensure secure passage of pilgrims, directions were issued to appropriately widen walking tracks, install railings, and construct retaining walls with special focus on laying down pre-fabricated cement tiles on tracks from Baltal.

He directed the Divisional Commissioners of Jammu and Kashmir to closely monitor the arrangements being put in place in transit camps along the Yatra route particularly at Kathua, Samba, Jammu, Udhampur, Ramban, Baltal, and Chandanwari. He further asked them to work out a plan for regulating passage of Yatries throughout the route from Lakhanpur to the Holy Cave and back, giving due consideration to the local traffic and movement of Kashmir-bound load carriers/ trucks especially in the event of weather-induced blockade of the National Highway.

Arrangements related to scientific disposal of solid and liquid waste by Sonmarg and Pahalgam Development Authorities and the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) were also discussed. The agencies were asked to install bio-toilets, waste specific garbage bins, mechanical segregator, auto-composter, and electromagnetic disintegrator at suitable locations on both yatra routes.

Arrangements with regard to registration and medical screening of ponies against Glander’s disease, establishment of pony sheds and veterinary camps, and rollout of pre-paid system for hiring of pony services were also reviewed.

To ensure timely completion of various works and arrangements to be put in place, it was impressed upon /concerned departments to initiate the respective financial and administrative processes well in advance.

Disaster Management Department was asked to tie-up with the Information department to ensure that regular weather reports are broadcasted on the national media for information of Yatris.

Financial Commissioner, Health & Medical Education Department, Principal Secretary to Lieutenant Governor/CEO, SASB, Administrative Secretaries of departments of, Home, Power Development, Information, Public Works, Industries and Commerce, Forest, Ecology & Environment, Jal Shakti, and Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation & Reconstruction besides Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Divisional Commissioners of Jammu & Kashmir, concerned Deputy Commissioners, and Additional CEO SASB participated in the meeting.