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Shri Amarnath Yatra: 38 rescue teams to be deployed

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STATE TIMES NEWS

Srinagar: Thirty-eight Mountain Rescue Teams of the Jammu and Kashmir Police, SDRF, NDRF, BSF and the CRPF will be deployed for the Amarnath Yatra, officials said on Monday, as a senior police officer briefed them on their specific duties and emphasised the importance of ensuring the pilgrims’ safety.
The 52-day pilgrimage to the holy cave shrine of Amarnath, located at a height of 3,880 metres, will commence from the twin tracks — the traditional 48-kilometre Nunwan-Pahalgam route in Anantnag and the 14-kilometre shorter but steeper Baltal route in Ganderbal — on June 29.
More than 4.5 lakh pilgrims paid their obeisance at the natural ice Shiva Lingam formation inside the cave shrine last year.
Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Vijay Kumar on Monday conducted a comprehensive review meeting with the Mountain Rescue Teams (MRTs) of the police, State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Border Security Force (BSF) and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), an official said.
He said the MRTs — consisting of 13 teams from the police, 11 from the SDRF, eight from the NDRF, four from the BSF and two from the CRPF — will be deployed at critical spots on the twin routes for the pilgrims’ safety.
The meeting focused on preparations for the upcoming yatra, a significant annual pilgrimage that draws lakhs of devotees, the official said.
Kumar, who also holds charge of the Armed Police and is commandant general of the SDRF, Civil Defence and Home Guards, briefed the teams on their specific duties, emphasising the importance of ensuring the pilgrims’ safety and wellbeing, the official said.
He assessed the current state of equipment with each team and made specific recommendations for necessary upgrades and the proper utilisation of resources.
The senior officer paid special attention to the waterproofing of the clothing of the MRTs, stressing that the fitness and proper gear of rescuers is imperative for effective rescue operations, the official said.
Additionally, Kumar reviewed the training status of the teams, taking stock of the training conducted throughout the year.
He extolled the teams to utilise their professional skills according to their training and emphasised that well-rehearsed manoeuvres are crucial in disaster situations where panic can often take hold.
Kumar also made specific comments to boost the morale of the forces, encouraging them to see their rescue operations as a revered duty that holds spiritual significance, the official said.
The senior officer also conveyed to the teams that their service is not only a critical responsibility but a noble act of assisting pilgrims on their sacred journey.
Reviewing the deployment pattern of the MRTs, Kumar made specific suggestions regarding the inclusion of some more locations marked as sensitive, according to a recent review of the route.
He also sensitised the teams on recent Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) incidents in different states and highlighted the challenges climate change brings, especially to the work spectrum of the disaster response forces, the official said.
Kumar urged all teams to approach their duties with dedication and respect, as their efforts are integral to the success and sanctity of the pilgrimage.
He concluded the review meeting by reiterating the importance of preparedness, coordination and the spiritual value of their service, the official said.

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