The Jammu and Kashmir government is making elaborate arrangements for the Amarnath Yatra this year, officials in the Union Home Ministry said here.
They said that in view of the large numbers of devotees, eight pre-fabricated tent townships will be set up at the base camp at Baltal and along the route to the holy cave on the lines of the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj.
Taking Covid-19 into consideration, the J&K administration will set up a 100-bed makeshift hospital in Srinagar while two 30-bed makeshift hospitals will come up along the route, the officials said, adding that this time a few oxygen booths will also be set up at various places on the 'Yatra route' for the pilgrims.
Two or three isolation centres will also be set up to isolate the Covid-infected persons, they said.
The Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tag will be given to all pilgrims and a centralised control room will be set up in Srinagar to monitor the movements of the Yatris during their walk to the Holy cave. The vehicles will also be given RFID tags at the entry point at Lakhanpur border and the security agencies will be keeping track of the movement of the vehicles.
For a better communication network along the pilgrimage route, around 25 towers will be erected and six hourly weather forecasts will be issued and will be communicated to the pilgrims so that in case of the bad weather, they can stay at base camps till it becomes conducive for the yatra, the MHA officials said.
Keeping in view the large numbers of devotees this year, the J&K administration is aiming to increase the frequency of the helicopter service.
The Amarnath Yatra will be commencing from June 30 this year and according to MHA officials, nearly 1,45,000 pilgrims have already been registered with the Amarnath Shrine Board and it is expected that over four to five lakh pilgrims will participate in the Yatra this year. The officials said following previous practices, the pilgrims will be released in a phase manner.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah will be reviewing all the facilities including security arrangements before the commencement of the Amarnath pilgrimage, the officials stated.