Amarnath Yatra 2020 to be held in ‘restricted manner’, 500 pilgrims allowed per day: JK govt

JK governor G C Murmu visits cave shrine in Pahalgam on Sunday.

Srinaagr: The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Sunday announced that upcoming annual Amarnath Yatra would be undertaken in a “restricted manner” and only 500 pilgrims would be allowed per day by road from Jammu to the cave shrine in South Kashmir.

The government said that standard operating procedures (SOPs) for testing of persons entering Kashmir would also be applicable to the intending Amarnath pilgrims.

“The yatra this year will have to be undertaken in a restricted manner so that the SoPs for Covid-19 are strictly adhered to during the conduct of the yatra a maximum of 500 yatris only could be allowed per day by road from Jammu,” Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam said.

Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu visited the cave shrine Amaranth in south Kashmir and marked the year’s first obeisance, this afternoon. The obeisance called “Boomi puja” signifies the start of annual Amarnath yatra.

Murmu was accompanied by his principal secretary and chief executive officer of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) Bipul Pathak, additional CEO AK Soni, Division Commissioner Kashmir Pandurang K Pole and other senior officials.

“Happy to share that the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board in association with Prasar Bharati will bring the live telecast of Aarti from the Holy Cave of Shri Amarnathji on various Doordarshan channels,” Prasar Bharti CEO Shashi Shekhar had tweeted on Saturday, adding the Aarti will be shown live at 3 am and 7 pm.

Thousands of pilgrims either trek the traditional and longer 45-km-long Pahalgam route or the shorter 16-km Baltal route to the holy shrine every year. However, the Yatra was delayed due to the outbreak of the pandemic.

This year, the 42-day yatra was scheduled to commence from the twin tracks of Pahalgam in Anantnag and Baltal in Ganderbal on June 23.


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