Mr. N. N. Vohra, Governor of Jammu & Kashmir, who is the Chairman of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, presided over the 28th Board Meeting held here today at the Raj Bhavan, Jammu. Those present in the meeting included the Board Members, H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Pt. Bhajan Sopori, Prof. Ved Kumari Ghai, Shri Vijay Dhar, Shri D. C. Raina and Dr. Chander Mouli Raina. Besides, Mr. Rakesh K. Gupta, Chief Executive Officer of the Board, and Mr. Preet Pal Singh, Additional CEO, attended the meeting.
Regarding the duration and date of commencement of Yatra 2015, the Board relied upon the approach set out by the Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Committee, which had been set up to advise the Board regarding the duration and schedule of future Yatras. The Board noted that during Yatra 2014 there was heavy snow accumulation on the Chandanwari – Holy Cave track, particularly on Sheshnag – Panjtarni stretch, which had delayed the commencement of Yatra on the Pahalgam route, which could finally start only from 2nd July, 2014.
Keeping in view the safety and security of the pilgrims, the Board decided that Yatra 2015 shall commence on 2nd July, 2015, an auspicious day of Purshotam Purnima as per the Hindu Calendar, and conclude on Shravan Purnima (Raksha Bandhan) on 29th August 2015. On this basis the Yatra this year shall be of 59 days duration. It was decided that the CEO shall arrange a special Pooja on Jyesth Purnima, on 2nd of June, 2015. The Pooja shall, as possible, take place at any suitable location in the Yatra area to invoke the blessings of Lord Shiva for the smooth and safe conduct of the pilgrimage.
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 Yatr-2015 on per day per route basis. On this basis there would be about 16000 pilgrims on the tracks every day. The Board further decided that the registration process should commence from 1st March 2015.
The Board directed that the CEO should frequently publicise that the intending Yatris must furnish the prescribed Compulsory Health Certificate, issued by the authorised Doctors/ Medical Institutes, before seeking registration for the yatra. The CEO informed that all States and UTs have been asked to furnish a list of Doctors/ Institutes who would be authorised to issue Health Certificates to the medically fit applicants. The lists of the nominated Doctors/ Institutes shall be available on the Board’s website – www.shriamarnathjishrine.com. The CEO would intensively publicize, through print and electronic media, the registration procedure; requirement of Compulsory Health Certificate to obtain registration; details of Doctors/ Institutes authorised 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 awareness campaign would be launched through the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
The Board reviewed the Action Plan, which has been drawn up for the conduct of Yatra 2015, 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.