Amarnath Yatra to begin on Ratha Jatra

Jammu: Odisha-born Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu, who is also the Chairman of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), on Friday presided over the 37th Board Meeting held at Raj Bhavan, Jammu, an official said here.

Regarding the duration and date of commencement of the Yatra 2020 pilgrimage, based on the approach set out by the Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Committee, which had been set up to advise on the duration and schedule of future Yatras, and keeping in view the the safety and security of the pilgrims, the Board decided that a 42-day Yatra would commence on June 23, 2020, on the auspicious day of the Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra festival and conclude on the occasion of Shravan Purnima (Raksha Bandhan festival) on August 3, 2020.

The Board noted the steps taken by the CEO for registration of pilgrims through 442 designated branches of the Punjab National Bank, Jammu and Kashmir Bank and YES Bank, located in 32 states and union territories (UTs), and directed him to take all required measures to commence the advance registration of pilgrims from April 1, 2020.

Considering the success of the Pilot Project of Online Registration of a limited number of intending pilgrims in 2019, the Board decided to increase the quota of online registrations.

The Board also directed that wide publicity be made, through the electronic and print media, informing intending pilgrims to timely secure the prescribed Compulsory Health Certificates issued by the Doctors or hospitals nominated by their home states or UTs and only, thereafter, seek advance registration from the nearest designated bank which would issue the pilgrim a Yatra permit valid for the specified date and route.

The Board also advised the CEO to appeal to all the potential pilgrims to consult their doctors before starting the pilgrimage. The CEO was also directed to widely publicize that no person below the age of 13 and above the age of 75 years shall be permitted to undertake the pilgrimage.

The Board further directed the CEO to take timely steps for ensuring uninterrupted telecom connectivity in the Yatra area.

Appreciating the important services rendered by the ‘langar’ (free kitchen) organisations, the Board looked forward to their continued support during the ensuing Yatra.

The Board directed the CEO to caution all potential pilgrims to particularly take into account the difficult climate and terrain in the high altitude region of the Yatra and prepare themselves fully for undertaking the pilgrimage.

According to the official, as in the past, an awareness campaign would be launched in cooperation with the Information Ministry all details relating to the Yatra would be placed on the Board’s website www.Shriamarnathjishrine.com.

The Board reviewed the action plan drawn up for the conduct of Yatra 2020, particularly the arrangements being made for medical care, sanitation facilities, installation of the railings at all vulnerable points along each of the two routes, as well as the measures being taken to preserve the environment on the pilgrimage route by ensuring garbage removal in a scientific and environment-friendly manner.

Instructions were also issued to ensure that the Yatra routes and camps remain plastic-free and completely prohibited the entry of single use plastic.

(IANS)

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