Yatra resumes from Pahalgam, remains suspended on Baltal track

Srinagar, Jul 6: Yatra was resumed on traditional Pahalgam track on Friday after remaining suspended for two days due to slippery road conditions to holy Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas, where 68202 pilgrims had darshan of the self made Ice-Shivlingam so far.
However, yatra remained suspended on the third day on Friday on shortest Baltal track, where three pilgrims were killed and three others were wounded on July 4 due to landslides, triggered by heavy rain and flash flood. Helicopter service has been resumed from Baltal to cave shrine this morning. Yesterday helicopter service was suspended and union home minister Rajnath Singh could not pay obeisance at the cave shrine due to poor visibility.
Meanwhile, Governor N N Vohra, who is also chairman of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB), will visit forward camps on both traditional Pahalgam and shortest Baltal tracks to holy cave shrine today.
“Chanting Bam Bam Bolay and Har Har Mahadev” pilgrims, including women and sadhus, left Nunwan Pahalgam base camp for Chandanwari, the last motorable halting station on traditional route to holy cave this morning. However, some pilgrims, particularly sadhus continued their journey towards next halting station on foot.
Meanwhile, pilgrims who had night halt at Chandanwari and other halting station also started their foot journey towards the cave shrine. The pilgrims, who had stayed at Panjterni for a night are moving towards the cave shrine since early this morning.
Officials said that yatra remained suspended on shortest Baltal to holy cave track which is still very slippery due to mud. Efforts are being made to clear the mud and repair the track which has been damaged at several places between Railpatheri and Brarimarg following landslides, triggered by rain and flash flood.
A Public Relations Officer (PRO) of Raj Bhawan said on the 8th day of the 60-day-long pilgrimage, 7,450 Yatris paid obeisance yesterday. With this a total of 68,202 Yatris had darshan of the Shivling at the Holy Cave till last evening. The yatra was interrupted during the first three days when only about 3500 yatris could pay obeisance at the cave shrine.
In view of the incidence of falling stones, landslides and accumulation of Yatris at both the Base Camps, Nunwan and Baltal, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SASB announced the decision to halt the Yatra convoy due to arrive from Jammu on Friday and advised Yatris to make their plans accordingly.