The annual Amarnath Yatra for 2014 would start on June 28 and end on August 10. The yatra period would be 44 days, keeping in view the safety and security of pilgrims. This was decided at the 26th board meeting of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) held last week on January 20.
Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra, who is also SASB chairman presided over the meeting.
On the duration and commencement of the 2014 yatra, the board relied upon the approach set out by its sub-committee, chaired by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
The sub-panel was set up July 2011 to advise the board regarding the duration and schedule of future yatras.
“Keeping in view the foremost concern of safety and security of the pilgrims, the board decided a 44-day yatra would commence June 28, an auspicious day as per the Hindu calendar and conclude on Raksha Bandhan – Aug 10.
“The board deliberated in detail on the number of yatris who would be allowed to register, date-wise and route-wise, for this year’s yatra.
“Considering the present carrying capacity of the tracks and other available infrastructure in the yatra area, the Board decided 7,500 yatris, excluding those who would travel by helicopters to Panjtarni, would be allowed to register for the pilgrimage on per day per route basis. The board further directed the registration process should commence March 1, 2014.
“The intending yatris must furnish the prescribed compulsory health certificate issued by authorised doctors/medical institutes.
“The CEO of SASB informed all states and UTs have been asked to furnish a list of doctors/ institutes who would issue compulsory health certificates to the medically fit yatris of the state/UT.
“The board further directed the CEO to compile state-wise lists of the nominated doctors/institutes and upload the information on the board’s website -www.shriamarnathjishrine.com for the information of all yatris.
“The CEO informed the board that in view of suggestions received from various quarters and the experience gained during Yatra 2013, the designated expert committee had revised the food menu.
“The CEO said this year, the revised food menu will be applicable to all langar (free kitchens) organisations as well as to all food stalls/shops/any other establishment which comes up in the yatra area to serve/sell food or beverages to the yatris/service providers during Yatra 2014,” the SASB statement said.
The board also reviewed the action plan, drawn up for the conduct of Yatra 2014, particularly the arrangements being made for providing healthcare and sanitation facilities to the yatris and the measures being taken to preserve the environment of the yatra area.