Sinha flags-off 1st batch of Amarnath pilgrims from Jammu
Yatra gets rousing reception enroute; Mobile App ‘Yatra22’ for healthcare launched
STATE TIMES NEWS
Jammu: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Wednesday flagged off the first batch of 4,890 pilgrims for the annual Amarnath yatra from the Bhagwati Nagar base camp in Jammu city for their onward journey to the Pahalgam and Baltal base camps in Kashmir.
The 43-day pilgrimage to the cave shrine will begin from twin base camps in Kashmir on Thursday and will conclude on August 11 on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan.
The annual Amarnath Yatra is being organised after a gap of two years due to the Covid pandemic.
Amid chants of ‘Bam Bam Bhole’ and ‘Jai Barfani Baba ki’, the pilgrims left the Bhagwati Nagar base camp here in a convoy of vehicles amid tight security.
Flanked by political leaders and officials, Mayor Jammu Municipal Corporation, Chander Mohan Gupta; Chief Secretary, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta ADGP Jammu, Mukesh Singh; Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Ramesh Kumar; DC Jammu, Avny Lavasa; Commissioner JMC, Rahul Yadav, besides BJP leader Devender Rana, the LG flagged off the convoy of buses and other vehicles carrying pilgrims on their inward journey to the twin base camps in Kashmir.
The first batch of pilgrims left for the cave shrine amid chanting of Vedic mantras.
The Lt Governor prayed for the peace, prosperity and a safe journey of pilgrims.
Marking the beginning of the annual pilgrimage, the first batch left at around 4 am in a cavalcade of 176 light and heavy vehicles, officials said.
The yatra has passed through Udhampur and Ramban districts amid a grand welcome accorded by the top officials district administration led by DCs and SSPs.
At Nayug Tunnel, Qazigund, the Yatris were received by Deputy Commissioner (DC) Kulgam, Dr. Bilal Mohi-Ud-Din-Bhat and other officers.
The yatries were also welcomed by DIG South, Abdul Jabbar, SSP Kulgam, Dr. GV Sandeep, PRI members and locals.
In Srinagar, they were welcomed by the Deputy Commissioner Srinagar and other officers of the District Administration in presence of SSP Srinagar, Rakesh Balwal, Commissioner SMC, Athar Amir Khan, SSP Traffic Muzafar Ahmad Shah and other senior officers of Police and Civil Administration were present on the occasion.
While, Mayor, Srinagar Municipal Corporation, Junaid Azam Mattoo, Chairman District Development Council(DDC), Srinagar, Malik Aftab Ahmad, Vice Chairman DDC, Bilal Ahmad, DDC Member Balhama, Aijaz Ahmad and other PRIs also welcomed the Yatries at the venue.
Meanwhile, Principal Secretary, Health Medical Education Department (H&ME) Manoj Kumar Dwivedi this afternoon launched the mobile application “yatra22” and webpage www.yatra22.com for tracking health care facilities for Pilgrims undertaking Shri Amarnath Ji Yatra 2022 and to facilitate the identification and tracking of health facilities during emergencies.
The App is available on the Google Play Store and IOS platform and can also be accessed through web browser.
Speaking during the launch of mobile application, Dwivedi said that for smooth facilitation of holy devotees, 150 health facilities have been established from Lakhanpur to Holy Cave by health authorities and it has all been made available on the App with all the coordinates and the distance from the individual accessing the App/portal.
The Principal Secretary further said that the Department of Health has also deployed around 1500 highly skilled health personnel for Shri Amarnath Ji Yatra 2022 duties, while as there has been a threefold increase in infrastructure during this year’s Yatra. He added that this has been made to ensure seamless and smooth delivery of health care to the pilgrims by the UT administration.
The Principal Secretary also remarked that mobile application shall subsequently cover all the 3500 health institutions of UT of J&K and asked the officers for mapping entire health infrastructure of J&K through this application so that general masses can be benefited through this mobile app.
Dwivedi also appreciated the department for taking this initiative forward as well as for implementation and the launch of the portal/application in short period.
Pertinently, under the newly launched Mobile App, mobile ambulances network including 102 and 108 ambulance system of more than 200 ambulances has also been mapped through the application and shall also be available in real time for the pilgrims. By pressing one button on the application, the nearest ambulances driver shall get activated and reach that spot which shall also merge with the “Google maps” to give directions and indicate the anticipated time to reach that health facility. The Do’s and Don’ts for the pilgrims have also been incorporated into the application for the safety of the pilgrims.
In Jammu, Daleep Singh, a devotee from Barmer in Rajasthan, said, “There is no fear, no threat, only unbridled passion to reach the cave shrine quickly and have a glimpse of Lord Shiva.”
Asha Devi, who is a part of an over 40-member group of pilgrims from Kanpur, said, “We urge people from all over the country to come and pay obeisance at the cave shrine.”
Multi-tier security arrangements have been put in place in and around the base camps, lodging, registration and token centres with the deployment of over 5,000 security personnel in Jammu city, officials said.
The yatra will commence on June 30 from the traditional 48-km Nunwan route in south Kashmir’s Pahalgam and the 14-km Baltal route in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal.
According to officials, over three lakh pilgrims have registered so far for the annual Amarnath Yatra.
This year, the government has introduced a Radio Frequency Identification to track the movement and well-being of the pilgrims, they said.
“Adequate security measure has been put in place for the base camps and lodging places in Jammu city. Security is a major challenge,” Jammu Senior Superintendent of Police Chandan Kohli said.
The police have issued special stickers for vehicles ferrying pilgrims. No vehicle without the sticker will be allowed to proceed towards the cave shrine, officials said.
Over 3.42 lakh pilgrims had paid obeisance at the shrine from July 1 to August 1, 2019, before the government cancelled the pilgrimage midway ahead of the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union territories.