SRINAGAR: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today laid the foundation stone for the Tirth Yatri Niwas & Disaster Management Centre of Amarnath Shrine Board at Majeen, near IMPARD, Jammu.
Speaking on the occasion, the Lt Governor congratulated the devotees of Amarnath; officials of the Shrine Board and the people of the Jammu region for the ground-breaking ceremony of the Yatri Niwas.
With the foundation of the Yatri Niwas, we have fulfilled a long pending demand of all stakeholders, organizations associated with Amarnath Yatra, devotees from across the country and abroad, said the Lt Governor.
The Lt Governor expressed his desire to develop Yatri Niwas as a symbol of compassion, spirituality, service, peace and happiness.
Yatri Niwas is not merely a building. It needs to be developed as a centre for the awakening of consciousness, a confluence of ancient philosophy so that the devotees can feel bliss and may begin their further Journey to Shri Amarnath ji Shrine in South Kashmir with purity and perfection, the Lt Governor said.
The Lt Governor directed the officials of Shri Amarnath Ji Shrine Board to establish a library for showcasing the spiritual and cultural heritage of J&K to the visiting pilgrims.
Work with greater commitment and dedication to provide safe and best-in-class facilities keeping in mind the faith of the devotees and the timeless tradition of Amarnath Ji Yatra, the Lt Governor told the officials.
He said that a Yatri Niwas with a capacity of more than 3200 pilgrims is under construction at Chandrakot in Ramban, and the foundation for another Yatri Niwas with a capacity of about 2800 passengers was laid in the month of August this year in Srinagar.
The Yatri Niwas in Jammu will also open up new employment avenues for the local population, especially for the youth, he added.
Dharma has been the very essence of the Jammu region since ancient times. The morning breeze here is filled with the prayers just as all our Vedas, Upanishads, Shastras begin with a salutation to the almighty. Therefore, we are making dedicated efforts to serve all those who are starting their spiritual odyssey from the City of Temples, observed the Lt Governor.
Elaborating on the work being done to develop tourism in Jammu, the Lt Governor said that a pilgrimage tourism circuit connecting Mata Vaishno Devi, Purmandal- Utterbehni, Mansar-Surinsar and Shiv Khori together is coming up, besides promoting the unexplored tourism potential of Jammu to attract more tourists.
Durga Bhawan, a high utility pilgrim-centric facility at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine is under construction. Study for the restoration of Shiv Khori is being done and work on it will begin soon. We are also exploring the feasibility of a ropeway at Shri Amarnath Shrine, the Lt Governor informed.
The Lt Governor expressed gratitude to the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for the inclusion of rejuvenation of Purmandal and Uttarbehni in the PRASAD scheme.
On the occasion, the Lt Governor, along with the members and officials of the SASB performed Bhumi Pujan rituals for the new facility.
Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Advisor to the Lt Governor, speaking on the occasion, reiterated the commitment of the UT Administration to provide comfortable and modern facilities to the devotees of Amarnath.
In his address, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary highlighted J&K Government’s initiatives to improve the facilities for the visiting pilgrims. Once completed, the new Yatri Niwas would accommodate more than 3000 pilgrims, he added.
Chander Mohan Gupta, Mayor JMC expressed gratitude to the UT administration and Shri Amarnath ji Shrine Board for the Yatri Niwas catering to the needs of the devotees and other stakeholders.
Rahul Singh, Addl CEO SASB, in his welcome address, informed about the recent developments made by SASB for facilitating Amarnath Yatris.
Bharat Bhushan, DDC Chairperson Jammu; Dheeraj Gupta, Principal Secretary, HUDD; Sanjeev Verma, Commissioner Secretary to Government, Department of Forest, Ecology and Environment; Mukesh Singh, ADGP Jammu; Dr Raghav Langer, Divisional Commissioner Jammu; Ramesh Kumar, CEO, SMVDSB; Anshul Garg, DC Jammu; former legislators, PRI representatives, religious heads and a large number of people from various communities attended the foundation laying ceremony.