A high level meeting was held at Raj Bhavan here today under the chairmanship of NN Vohra, Governor, J&K, to discuss security and access control related arrangements for the ensuing Shri Amarnathji Yatra, which is scheduled to commence this year on June 28, simultaneously from the Baltal and Chandanwari routes.
The Governor, who is the Chairman of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, has stressed the need to effectively maintain close coordination among the functionaries of all the concerned state government civil and police departments, army, central police organizations, Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, and all other concerned agencies for ensuring that all the required security related arrangements are timely put in position.
Navin K Choudhary, CEO, SASB, made a presentation at the meeting, particularly to inform the officers of the police, ‘security’ forces and army about the directions passed on December 13, 2012 and April 18, 2013 by the Apex Court in a Suo Moto Writ Petition relating to Shri Amarnathji Yatra. He has informed the meeting, “A total of 7500 pilgrims would be allowed per day per route and, as per the decision, no unregistered pilgrims would be allowed to cross the Access Control Gates.”
Governor has directed DGP and Divisional Administration to put effective regulatory mechanisms in place to ensure that only those Yatris who possessed valid Yatra Permits were allowed to undertake the Yatra on the date and by the route for which they had procured Yatra Permits.
As per a statement MI Khanday, Chief Secretary, Ashok Prasad, Director General of Police, J&K, Suresh Kumar, Principal Secretary, Home, DK Pathak, Special Director General CRPF, J&K, Major General RR Nimbhorkar, GOC, Victor Force, Major General Rajesh Arya, GOC, Hqrs. 15 Corps, Air Commodore B Balachandran, Air Officer Commanding, Air Force Station, Srinagar, Navin K Choudhary, Principal Secretary to the Governor and Chief Executive Officer, Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, Shailendra Kumar, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, PS Sandhu, IG, BSF, Kashmir, Dr B Srinivas, IGP, CID, J&K, AG Mir, Inspector General of Police and Preet Pal Singh, Additional Chief Executive Officer of the Shrine Board, participated in the meeting.
Major General Nimbhorkar, GOC Victor Force, made a detailed presentation on the security related arrangements being made this year to secure the Yatra area, in close coordination with all other government forces. He has informed that the army is working to provide an incident free Yatra, in collaboration with all concerned ‘security forces’ and agencies.
The meeting held detailed discussions in regard to issues relating to the general security scenario obtaining in the state, enforcement of an effective Access Control System at Yatra Base Camps, regulation of flow of Yatris across Access Control Gates at Baltal and Chandanwari, and monitoring the onward movement of registered Yatris towards the Holy Cave. Other arrangements which came up for discussion were: Disaster preparedness measures to be taken to effectively deal with any emergent situation arising in the Yatra area; setting up of the Joint Control Rooms and Disaster Management Units and their effective coordination with Divisional Administration and Meteorological Department; deployment of Mountain Rescue Teams (MRTs) of the State Police at identified locations on both the Yatra routes; deployment of well equipped Fire Fighting Force teams at identified locations; provision of an adequate number of X-Ray Baggage Scanning units at appropriate locations on both the Yatra routes; Access Control Arrangements at Baltal, Panjtarni and Pahalgam helipads; etc.
Governor has directed the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, to undertake a thorough review of all required arrangements to promptly meet any arising disaster situation and evolve a detailed Standard Operating Procedure which would be followed by all stakeholders, including the District Administration and ‘Security’ Forces.
Governor has also emphasized the need to maintain close coordination among all agencies and departments to ensure an incident free Yatra and asked the Principal Secretary Home and Divisional Commissioner to undertake regular periodic reviews of the arrangements being made for the Yatra.
It is pertinent to mention that a Sub-Committee comprising the State Chief Secretary and Home Secretary, and CEO, SASB, is regularly monitoring the implementation of the Supreme Court’s directions in regard to the Yatra.