Srinagar: Union Home Secretary today held a meeting to review the conduct of upcoming Shri Amarnath Ji yatra, 2022 in which the Chief Secretary, DrArun Kumar Mehta briefed him about the arrangements made by the UT administration for its successful commencement.
The meeting was also attended by Additional Chief Secretary, Home; Principal Secretary Health; Principal Secretary to Lieutenant Governor; Principal Secretary, PWD; Secretary IT and Director Health Services, Kashmir.
The Chief Secretary apprised the meeting that this year state of the art arrangements have been made by the administration for smooth conduct of the yatra. He observed that the yatra is going to be performed after a gap of 2 years post covid-19 pandemic so it is expected that the number would be much higher than previous years.
Dr Mehta further informed that, unlike previous years, the tentment capacity enroute holy cave has been exceptionally enhanced to 70000 yatris from existing 29000 till last yatra. He also announced that this year a pilgrim could undertake a yatra in a single day from Srinagar-Holy Cave-Srinagar by using the helicopter services.
The Home Secretary was also briefed that formulation of a comprehensive sanitation plan has been made to make the yatra ODF++ this year. Elucidating it was said that the arrangements have been made on the analogy of Kumbh Mela and there will be one sanitation worker for every 10 toilets and a supervisor for 10 sanitation workers.
As far as the health arrangements are concerned, it was given out that 6 base hospitals would be established enroute with dozens of oxygen booths this year. A provision of 100 bedded dedicated covid care hospital is going to be established at Srinagar and ICU facilities at Pahalgam, Baltal and Sonamarg.
The provision for ambulances including critical care ones has been made besides isolation facilities at Panjtarni, Sheshnag and Holy cave. The training and deployment of medical staff has been worked out as per the current requirements, the meeting was informed.
Regarding the traffic plan it was said that RFID based monitoring and surveillance systems have been introduced from Lakhanpur till base camps. Alert messages to Camp Directors would also be sent on a real time basis for the safety of yatris, as was learnt during the meeting.
Regarding security arrangements it was said that Joint Police Control Rooms (JPCRs)and Emergency Operation Centresas per NDMA suggestions have been established. Deployment of Mountain Rescue Teams by Police, NDRF, SDRF, CRPF has also been done to meet any eventuality.
Overall there would be a capacity of more than one lakh pilgrims at 147 locations with a provision for proper toilets/baths, langars and dozens of medical centres, as given in the meeting. The yatra would be conducted in a very pleasant atmosphere as an enhanced number of cloak rooms, water dispensers, dust bins, bottle catchers, steel benches and signages have been erected by the Shrine Board this year.
Others who participated included representatives from Ministries of Health, Road Transport, Telecom, IMD, NDRF from Government of India and other relevant stakeholders.