Amarnath Aarti to be telecast live on Doordarshan; 500 yatris allowed daily darshan

SRINAGAR: In view of the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic, the Amarnath 'Aarti' this year will be telecast live on Doordarshan and only a maximum of 500 yatris will proceed from Jammu by road per day to perform darshan.

"Given the constraints, a maximum of 500 yatris only could be allowed per day by road from Jammu. It was informed that Baba Amarnath Aarti this year will be telecast live on Doordarshan," Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam said.

Subrahmanyam on Saturday chaired a meeting of the sub-committee constituted by the Supreme Court for Amarnath Yatra. He emphasised that adequate arrangements should be made to ensure unhindered telecast of the Aarti.

As per the official release, Subrahmanyam said that all entrants into Jammu and Kashmir will have to be sampled, tested and quarantined till they are reported to be negative.

"The camping facilities earlier utilised for yatris, especially at entry points are currently being utilised as quarantine centres. Keeping in view of the circumstances, the yatra this year would have to be undertaken in a restricted manner so that the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for COVID-19 are strictly adhered to during the conduct of the yatra," said the release.

In the meeting, officials informed the Chief Secretary that adequate stock of drugs, consumable items, sleeping bags, besides PPE kits and masks are being made available to the doctors and paramedical staff being deployed for yatra duty.

Officials further informed him that two base hospitals are also being established along Baltal route. Isolation facilities will have to be created to ensure any COVID-19 challenges are addressed on an emergent basis at the camp itself.

Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Deputy Commissioners and SSPs of Ganderbal and Anantnag districts, Additional CEO, Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) besides other senior functionaries of the concerned departments attended the meeting through video conference.

Earlier, Mahant Deependra Giri, the custodian of the holy mace of Lord Shiva, had announced the schedule for this year's Amarnath Yatra.

As per the schedule, after performing the Chhari-Pujan at Dashnami Akhara Srinagar on the occasion of 'Nag-Panchami' on July 25, Mahant Giri will carry the holy mace to the holy shrine of Swami Amarnath to have 'darshan' on 'Shravan-Purnima' on August 3.

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