Amarnath Yatra ends peacefully

Srinagar, Aug 29 (IANS) The nearly two-month-long Amarnath Yatra concluded peacefully on Saturday, with 3.52 lakh pilgrims having visited the Himalayan cave shrine.

The annual pilgrimage, undertaken by Hindu devotees to the holy cave shrine of Amarnath, concluded on the occasion of Shravan Purnima, amid chanting of hymns in the spiritual ambience of south Kashmir Himalayas.

Jammu and Kashmir Governor N. N. Vohra, chairman of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, and P.K. Tripathi, chief executive officer (CEO), visited the cave shrine early Saturday and prayed for sustained peace, harmony, progress and prosperity in the state.

Vohra expressed satisfaction over the smooth conduct of this year’s Yatra, despite problems erupting due to flash floods, cloudbursts and road blocks in the preceding weeks.

He complimented the civil and police administrations of Anantnag and Ganderbal districts, Jammu and Kashmir Police, Central Armed Police Forces, Army, and all the involved state government departments and other agencies for the smooth conduct of Yatra-2015.

He directed the chief executive officer to ensure complete cleaning of all camp sites and prepare a camp and route-wise Action Plan for Yatra 2016, keeping in view the experiences gained during this year’s pilgrimage.

He stressed that route-wise arrangements of all aspects of the Yatra must be worked out well in advance with particular focus on medicare, sanitation, cleanliness, water and power supply and other facilities while ensuring effective protection of environment and ecology of the Yatra area.

The governor would preside over a Post Yatra Review Meeting on August 31 in which over 100 officers, concerned with the management of Yatra 2015, are expected to participate.

The governor expressed concern and sympathy over the loss of life of pilgrims, service providers, shopkeepers and others due to medical reasons, cloudbursts and accidents, during this year’s Yatra.

He stressed on the need for identifying fresh and further measures which could prevent loss of precious lives in future Yatras.

He asked CEO P.K. Tripathi to immediately launch a full scale post-Yatra sanitation drive, fully involving the Pahalgam and Sonamarg Development Authorities, so that the entire Yatra area is effectively cleaned up in the next few days.

Tripathi stated that over 3.52 lakh Yatris paid their obeisance at the holy cave shrine during this year’s pilgrimage, which had commenced on July 2, on both the Baltal route and the Pahalgam route.

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