In the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jammu Divisional Commissioner Sanjeev Verma had a detailed discussion with the Deputy Commissioners and the heads of the concerned departments and highway districts on Friday, to inspect the elaborate arrangements being done and to review the preparedness for Amarnath Yatra this year. The Amarnath Yatra to the holy Himalayan cave shrine which is expected to begin in the last week of July will be held for 15 days instead of the regular 43 days yatra.
It was decided that all the pilgrims will be tested for COVID-19 as a precautionary measure and the Divisional Commissioner asked the DC of Kathua to make necessary arrangements for the sampling of the pilgrims and identify places for their temporary stay in the district, according to the release. The Divisional Commissioner directed the DCs to implement all necessary arrangements for successful yatra including accommodations, langars and other facilities for pilgrims.
Proper sanitisation of langar sites should be done along with the provisions of uninterrupted water and power supply, plus provisions of potable water, mobile toilets and security arrangements at langar sites and halting points in the districts, directed the divisional commissioner. The release also stated that the Divisional Commissioner also asked the DCs to arrange for packaged food packets for pilgrims during the yatra.
The meeting chaired by Divisional Commissioner was attended by IG Traffic, T Namgyal; SSP Traffic National Highways, JS Johar; SSP Security Jammu, SS Kotwal; Director ULB, Virji Hangloo; GM JKRTC, Swarn Singh; Director Health Services, Dr Renu Sharma; RTO Jammu, Dhananter Singh; Joint Director Tourism, Neelam Khajuria and other officials, according to an official release. The DCs along with SSPs of Kathua, Samba, Udhampur and Ramban also attended the meeting through video conferencing.
According to reports, the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, which conducts and looks after the Amarnath Yatra every year, has approached Doordarshan for the live telecast of pooja every morning and evening on DD National during the pilgrimage. The board has proposed to live telecast pooja for half n hour every morning and evening on DD national. This has been proposed with a view to making provisions for the pilgrims who will not be allowed due to COVID-19 pandemic this year as the regular capacity of pilgrims would be curtailed down drastically. So the pilgrims can also have live darshan of the yatra if the proposal is passed.
(With inputs from agencies)