JAMMU – The Chief Secretary, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta today chaired the 11th meeting of the High Level Committee of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) to review the preparations being made for a safe and hassle-free Shri Amarnathji Yatra 2022.
Additional Chief Secretary, Finance Department, Additional Chief Secretary, Health & Medical Education Department, Principal Secretary, Animal Husbandry Department, Principal Secretary, Public Works (R&B) Department, CEO, Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, Administrative Secretaries of departments of General Administration, Forest, Ecology & Environment, Jal Shakti, Planning, Monitoring & Development, Tourism besides Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Divisional Commissioners of Kashmir & Jammu, concerned Deputy Commissioners and Additional CEO SASB participated in the meeting.
The Chief Secretary observed that this year, the Yatra may see significant increase in footfall of pilgrims and as such, the holding capacity equipped with all essential services, across the concerned districts, needs to be enhanced and augmented. The Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir was asked to oversee and monitor creation of additional holding and lodging areas at Manigam, Shadipora, and nearby areas.
Further, both the Divisional Commissioners were asked to monitor the arrangements being put in place in transit camps along the Yatra route. They were asked to ensure the functionality of toilet blocks throughout the National Highway and at all transit camps, with proper signage to be installed within a week. They were further asked to prepare respective traffic management plans within a week, and ensure time-bound movement of yatra convoy on the national highway by enforcing traffic rules and norms.
Furthermore, Dr. Mehta emphasized undertaking a media campaign to promote adherence to the registered travel dates, timings, and other yatra norms, among all devotees. The Board was asked to launch a helpline number/ mobile-based application for sharing real-time information on the availability of nearest lodging facility, langar, and other public utilities vis-à-vis the pilgrim’s live location.
For maintaining hygienic conditions at the camp sites, the Board was asked to explore the possibility of installing bio-digesters and strictly enforcing solid waste management protocols. Dr. Mehta also directed keeping all the pathways spic and span through a dedicated cleanliness plan.
Regarding the preparations for weather vagaries, the Chief Secretary directed installation of snow/rain shelters on the higher reaches of the yatra, besides ensuring telecom connectivity and fire & emergency services along with a dedicated disaster mitigation and management SOP. He directed integration of isolated surveillance systems and organization of mock drills for establishing response clarity among various agencies.