Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra today reviewed the preparations, including those related to the security, of the 40-day-long annual yatra to the holy cave shrine of Amarnath in Himalayas, starting next month. Vohra, who is also chairman of the Sri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB), directed all the agencies concerned to keep a close watch and maintain effective coordination to ensure smooth conduct of the yatra, scheduled to begin on June 29 and end on August 7. Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary B B Vyas, Director General of Police S P Vaid, General Officer Commanding of Srinagar-based 15 Corps Lt Gen J S Sandhu, General Officer Commanding of south Kashmir-based Victor Force Maj Gen B S Raju and Chief Executive Officer of SASB R K Goyal and other senior civil, intelligence, BSF, CRPF and Air Force officers attended the meeting at Raj Bhavan, an official spokesman said. The governor directed the DGP and the Kashmir divisional administration to strictly enforce the prescribed regulatory mechanism and ensure that only those pilgrims who have valid yatra permits were allowed to undertake the pilgrimage on the date and by the route for which they had procured advance registration. Noting that various service providers, particularly ponywallahs, labourers, palki wallahs, tent and shop owners play an important role in the smooth conduct of yatra, the Governor directed Kashmir Divisional Commissioner and IGP Kashmir to ensure that all the service providers were enabled to function in a safe and secure environment in the yatra area. The SASB has already insured all the service providers with an insurance cover of Rs one lakh and ponies for Rs 30,000 each against the accidental death in the yatra area, he said. Vohra also advised the chief secretary to sensitise the disaster management agencies and ensure that all arrangements for the yatra were subsumed within the state's overall disaster management framework. He also directed the chief secretary, GoC 15 Corps and all security agencies to pool their disaster related resources at designated locations in the yatra area. The governor was informed about the steps being taken by the Pahalgam and Sonamarg Development Authorities for the proper collection and disposal of solid wastes to be generated during the yatra, the spokesman said.
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