Amarnath yatris suffer due to rising costs

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Pahalgam, Jul 10: The thrilling and joyful Amarnath yatra has been facing several hurdles. Apart from the bad weather and over-crowding, the two biggest problems for Amarnath pilgrims this year, the rising cost of the journey has made things worst for the yatris.

One such example is of a family from Gujarat, who have been planning things for well over two months for this yatra. But, now due to rising cost and shortage of money, they were compelled to abandon the yatra midway at Sheshnaag, 30 kilometers from the yatra base camp in Pahalgam.

A visit to the Amarnath cave on horseback would cost between Rs. 3200 to Rs. 5,000 rupees per person. Though the government has prescribed Rs. 3200 rupees for a round trip on the longer Pahalgam route, thats just minimum. Ultimately, it all depends on the pony wallah.

Nattu Bhai, a pilgrim complained,"No pony wallah goes by the government prescribed rate, they demand more money". While the pilgrim yatris complain that they are being charged heavily by the pony wallahs, the pony wallahs have their own share of problems, they say nobody is concerned about their poor plight.

On other hand, the registered pony wallahs blame the unregistered ones for eating into their business and it's the yatris who are willing to pay more to save time."Only the pony wallahs registered by the tourism department must be allowed to do the job. We charge more than Rs. 3200 when the rush is more, that time we are questioned, but where is the government when the rush is less and we charge only Rs. 1200," said Nazir Ahmad Bhat, pony wallah.

OneIndia News

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