Amarnath Yatra halted…
Amarnath Yatra remained suspended for the second day on Saturday due to heavy rain and snowfall. Due to inclement weather, the batch was not sent ahead from the Jammu base camp. The new batch was not allowed entry as the base camp was full. The devotees involved in this have been accommodated at various places in the city. In the holy cave and Poshpatri area, the entire area has been covered with snowfall in the morning. The pilgrims coming in the new batch are being stopped at Kathua and Samba on the Jammu-Pathankot highway. More than 65,000 pilgrims are stranded in different camps in Baltal, Pahalgam, Chandrakot, Srinagar and Jammu. The Meteorological Department has also issued an alert for rain on Sunday. In such a situation, there is a possibility of the yatra being postponed on Sunday as well. 600 Amarnath Yatris are stranded in Ramban.
However, aarti was performed in the holy cave both in the morning and in the evening. The rain started from Friday did not stop till Saturday evening. Due to rain on both the Baltal and Pahalgam tracks, devotees were not sent in the morning. Devotees of Bhole are singing bhajans and kirtans enthusiastically in the camps. Officials associated with the Shrine Board said that the Jatha was not sent from Jammu due to the closure of the Jammu-Srinagar highway. On Friday, a batch of 4600 passengers who had left Jammu for the Pahalgam route were stopped at Chandrakot in Ramban. These passengers are still in Chandrakot. All the passengers are safe in different camps. The journey will be resumed only after the weather improves.
More than 50 thousand passengers stranded in Kashmir
Officials told that 50,000 passengers are stranded in various camps in Kashmir. Of these, there are 19 thousand devotees in Baltal camp alone. Apart from this, about five thousand passengers have been stopped at Chandrakot. Around 10,000 passengers have been stopped at various places from Bhagwati Nagar base camp in Jammu city. Apart from this, arrangements have been made for the passengers to stay at Kathua and Samba. Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and CEO of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board Dr. Mandeep Bhandari are personally monitoring the entire situation. Camp directors of Baltal and Pahalgam base camps have been instructed to ensure that no inconvenience is caused to the pilgrims under any circumstances. In Jammu division, Commissioner Ramesh Kumar and ADGP Mukesh Kumar reviewed the arrangements made for the pilgrims.
Heavy rain warning even today
The possibility of sending a batch from Amarnath base camp Jammu on Sunday is less. The Meteorological Department has issued a warning of heavy rain for Sunday as well. Along with this, traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar highway is closed in Panthyal area of Ramban district due to a portion of the highway being washed away during heavy rains. It is expected that due to the ongoing repair work on Sunday, efforts will be made to make the traffic smooth by making alternative arrangements.
The pilgrimage has been put on hold due to incessant rains and inclement weather. All the passengers have been kept in secure camps. Wherever the passengers are facing problems, the army and our officers are working to take them to safe places. In such a situation, no one needs to worry. In view of the road collapse at Panthal, efforts are on to prepare an alternate road within three days for the convenience of Amarnath Yatris. A permanent solution will come only after the construction of the tunnel is completed. The weather is expected to improve by Sunday. After this the pilgrims will be able to proceed towards the holy cave.
-Manoj Sinha, Deputy Governor