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Bigger, better, safer: Why this year’s Amarnath Yatra will be symbolic

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The government is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the Yatra goes off smoothly. The use of technology is one of the main features of the Yatra this year

New Delhi, Jun 14: After a span of two years, the 43 day long Amarnath Yatra would begin on June 30. The Yatra would begin from the twin routes- 48 kilometre Nunwan in South Kashmir and Pahalgam a 14 kilometre shorter route in Baltal, Central Kashmir.

Owing to COVD-19 the Yatra had not taken place for the past two years. The Amarnath Yatra is important not just for the communal harmony in Jammu and Kashmir, but it would also provide a boost to the economy of the Union Territory.

Bigger, better, safer: Why this year’s Amarnath Yatra will be symbolic

Around 2.5 lakh Yatris have registered for the pilgrimage so far. This year the Yatra would be significant as it will be the biggest with an estimate of 8 lakh pilgrims expected to take part.

The administration has been kept busy with the Yatra and officials have taken extensive tours of Chandanwari. There are disaster management plans in place and more important all efforts are being made that there is no security threat to the Yatra.

An official explains to OneIndia that security is one of the primary concerns for the authorities. Considering the scale at which it is taking place, it becomes all the more important to ensure that nothing untoward takes place.

There have been attempts made to drive fear into the minds of the people. For instance the targeted killings that J&K has witnessed in recent times is also to do with the fact that the terror groups backed by Pakistan want to discourage the people from attending the Yatra, the officer cited above said.

On June 3, the Srinagar police had registered a case against some groups including the proscribed Sikhs for Justice. They were accused of circulating anti-national content. "It has been reliably learnt that some persons/groups which include Sikhs for Justice have been disseminating anti national messages ahead of the upcoming Amarnath Yatra and are indulging in activities promoting enmity between different religious groups," a statement by the police read.

Further the Yatra this year is supported by hi-tech RFID. A quality committee is in place to check the quality of tents and bedding used for the Yatra. Technology and foolproof security arrangements are also the main highlights of the Yatra this year.

Further the administration is also engaging the locals. This has gained momentum as the locals carry out services such as phones, dandies and piths. This would ensure that thousands of locals earn their livelihood from the Yatra. The Yatra would also give a boost to the taxi services, shop keepers, restaurants and hotels.

The administration has identified 18 sites on the National Highway where there would be local self help groups, small business, sale of handicrafts etc. giant LED screens have been installed to welcome the Yatris in addition to the various spaces allotted for government officials to welcome and guide the pilgrims.

Speaking of the security measures, the Yatris and their vehicles will be tagged with the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID. The CRPF personnel along the other forces which will pilot the Yatra will get the precise locations of the vehicles and people thanks to the use of RFID.

Further helicopter service for the Yatris from Srinagar have been arranged apart from putting in place a detailed traffic and parking management plan.

The Union Home Ministry is ensuring that no stone is unturned so that the Amarnath Yatra passes off smoothly.

Terror groups are not only planning to target the Yatra, but are also carrying out targeted killings to create a scare among the people so that they refrain from attending the Amarnath Yatra, the official cited above said.

Considering these aspects, the government has decided to insure every pilgrims for Rs 5 lakh and also give them all Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags. This was earlier given only to vehicles.

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