Governor prayed for peace in J

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Holy Cave (Amarnath) Jul 13 (UNI) Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra today prayed for peace and tranquillity in Jammu and Kashmir at the holy cave on his first visit after imposition of Governors rule following the resignation of Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.

Accompanied by his wife and Principal Secretary and Chief Executive Officer, Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), B B Vyas, Mr Vohra, had a Darshan of the holy Shivalingam this morning.

The Governor visited the Base Camp at Baltal where he held a meeting with all officers concerned, which included the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Mehboob Iqbal, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir Range, S M Sahai, and Secretary Tourism, Naeem Akhter, to review the arrangements made for this year's Yatra.

He stressed the need for addressing environmental and eco concerns while creating infrastructural facilities at various camping sites and en route the Shrine.

In this context, he called for the best available technology and planning concepts being applied to ensure ecologically sound facilities for the pilgrims who come from all over India.

Mr Vohra stressed the need for evolving strategies for conducting the Yatra in a manner in which the interests of local stake holders are safeguarded and strengthened.

He also emphasised the need for ensuring very close synergy between the SASB and each of the Government departments concerned, which support the Yatra arrangements.

In his discussions with the officers of both the SASB and the State Government agencies, the Governor said a series of meetings were planned to be held between the Shrine Board functionaries and the State Government officers to take stock of the existing and emerging capacities to bring them to the desired level of satisfaction.

Towards this end, he said a long-term strategy would be drawn up for continuously reviewing, streamlining and regulating this annual event, keeping in view the experience gained over the years.

The meeting was informed that the Board has set up over 2000 pollution free toilets and accommodation facilities for 1400 pilgrims.

The Governor was also briefed about the arrangements made for providing health, drinking water, sanitation, electricity and other required facilities at Baltal.

Mr Vohra visited the Health Centre and enquired about the health of pilgrims admitted in the hospital.

He was informed that since the commencement of the Yatra, 65000 patients had been treated at the Health Centre, Baltal besides the large number of pilgrims provided relief enroute and at the Cave Shrine The Governor insupected the tented colony and prefabricated huts and appreciated the endeavours of the Board and the locals in providing high quality arrangements.

He called for maintaining high standards of sanitation and hygiene at all the Yatra points, in tune with environmental requirements.

The Governor asked Mr Vyas to earmark a corpus fund of Rs one crore so that the future expenditure of the Board on account of paying salaries to its officials can be met from the of interest accrued on such a corpus.

He also announced a grant-in-aid, from out of the Shrine Board funds, of Rs 25 lakhs each for upgrading and supplementing the infrastructural development at Shiv Khori and Buda Amarnathji in Jammu Division. Divisional Commissioner, Jammu will be responsible for effective utilisation of these grants.

The Governor also announced that in consultation with Divisional Administration in Kashmir, the Board would identify certain Shrines in Kashmir Division, which would be revived with financial support from the Board.

UNI BAS QAB AM VC1625

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