N.N. Vohra, Governor of Jammu & Kashmir, who is the Chairman of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, presided over the 26th Board Meeting today at New Delhi. The meeting was attended by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan, Justice (Retd.) G.D. Sharma, Pandit Bhajan Sopori, Shri Vijay Dhar and Dr. (Prof.) Ved Kumari Ghai, all Members of the Board. Besides, Shri Navin K. Choudhary, Chief Executive Officer and Shri Preet Pal Singh, Additional Chief Executive Officer of the Shrine Board, also attended the meeting.
Regarding the duration and commencement of Yatra 2014, the Board relied upon the approach set out by the Board’s Sub Committee, chaired by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, which had been set up in July 2011 to advise the Board regarding the duration and schedule of future Yatras. Keeping in view the foremost concern of safety and security of the pilgrims, the Board decided that a 44 day Yatra would commence on 28th June, an auspicious day as per Hindu Calendar and conclude on Raksha Bandhan on 10 Aug, 2014.
The Board directed that the CEO should arrange a special Pooja on the day of Jyesth Purnima, which falls on 13th June this year. This Pooja shall, if possible, take place at the Holy Cave or any other suitable location in the Yatra area to invoke the blessings of Lord Shiva for the smooth and safe conduct of the pilgrimage.
The Board deliberated in detail the number of Yatris who would be allowed to register, date-wise and route-wise, for this year’s Yatra. Considering the present carrying capacity of the tracks and other available infrastructure in the Yatra area, the Board decided that 7,500 Yatris, excluding Yatris who would travel by heli-copters to Panjtarni, would be allowed to register for the pilgrimage on per day per route basis. The Board further directed that the registration process should commence on 1st March 2014.
The Board directed the CEO to publicise, at frequent intervals, that for securing regulation for the Yatra, the intending Yatris must furnish the prescribed Compulsory Health Certificate issued by the authorised Doctors/ Medical Institutes. The CEO informed that all States and UTs have been asked to furnish a list of Doctors/ Institutes who would issue Compulsory Health Certificates to the medically fit Yatris of the State/ UT. The Board further directed the CEO to compile State-wise lists of the nominated Doctors/ Institutes and upload the information on the Board’s website – www.shriamarnathjishrine.com – for the information of all intending Yatris.
The CEO was desired to intensively publicize, through print and electronic media, the registration procedure; requirement of Compulsory Health Certificate to obtain registration; details of Doctors/ Institutes authorized to issue Compulsory Health Certificates, Dos and Don’ts to be followed by the Yatris during the course of Yatra and Health Advisories to prevent Yatris from getting afflicted with serious illnesses.
The CEO informed the Board that in view of suggestions received from various quarters and the experience gained during Yatra 2013, the designated Expert Committee had revised the 2013 Food Menu. The CEO stated that this year the revised Food Menu will be applicable to all Langar Organizations as well as to all Food Stalls/ Shops/ any other establishment which comes up in the Yatra area to serve/ sell food or beverages to the Yatris/ service providers during Yatra 2014.
The Board reviewed the Action Plan, which has been drawn up for the conduct of Yatra 2014, particularly the arrangements being made for providing healthcare and sanitation facilities to the Yatris and the measures being taken to preserve the environment of the Yatra area.