The first batch of the pilgrims’ en-route Amarnath cave was flagged off from Baltal in Sonamarg and Nunvanan in Pahalgam- the two main base camps, on Monday.
On Monday around 5: 00, the first batch left the base camps in Kashmir to begin this year’s annual pilgrimage,
In Pahalgam, the Yatra was flagged off by the district development commissioner Anantnag Khalid Jahangeer at around 5.30 am from the Nunwan base camp.
In Jammu’s Bhagwati Nagar base camp, the first convoy of 93 vehicles, including three motorcycles, carrying the pilgrims was also flagged off.
Meanwhile, tight security arrangements have been put in place in Kashmir for the Yatris. Reports said that apart from the deployments, a robust security cover has been put in place for the Yatra which includes satellite and chip-based tracking of vehicles and pilgrims.
As many as 2,85,006 pilgrims paid obeisance at the cave shrine last year, while the number of pilgrims undertaking the Yatra was 3,52,771 in 2015, 3,20,490 in 2016 and 2,60,003 in 2017.
Earlier, on Sunday, Deputy Commissioner Anantnag, Khalid Jahangir, visited Yatra transit camps established at Mirbazar, Walnut Factory Qazigund and Lower Munda in the district to take stock of arrangements put in place for the smooth conduct of the annual Amarnath Yatra.
On the occasion, DC Anantnag took a detailed review of the arrangements put in place at the transit camps regarding accommodation, drinking water supply, uninterrupted power supply, healthcare, toilets, Sanitation, Fire and Emergency Services, besides provision of adequate ration and other essential commodities.
The DC was informed that all the facilities are in place, besides proper arrangements for solid waste disposal management have been ensured. While reviewing arrangements, Jahangir stressed on the maintenance of cleanliness and effective sanitation within the camp areas so that the pilgrims do not face any inconvenience.
He directed for proper drainage and maintenance of the lawns at transit camps to ensure the free movement of the Yatris. He also directed to ensure uninterrupted power and water supply at the camps, besides other required facilities.