Advance registration for yatra to begin in 540 bank branches today

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Track improved, Chandanwari -Pissu Top By Pass near completion

Avtar Bhat

JAMMU, Apr 14: The advance registration for 52 days long annual Shri Amarnathji Yatra is likely to begin in 540 branches of various banks across the country tomorrow.
This year the holy Amarnath Ji Yatra will start from June 29 and conclude on Rakshabandhan falling on August 19.

Official sources said besides, Jammu and Kashmir Bank, Punjab National Bank (PNB), State Bank of India (SBI) and Yes Bank will figure in 540 bank branches across the country, which have been designated for advance registration of pilgrims from April 15 for this year’s Shri Amarnath Ji Yatra.

Sources said for Jammu and Kashmir, the registration process will begin in 21 branches of PNB, SBI and J&K Bank, adding, “for registration, it is mandatory for the pilgrims to produce a health certificate. However,the children below 13 years of age, elders above 70 years and six-week pregnant women will not be permitted for the pilgrimage.”
For Ladakh, registration facilities for pilgrims will be available only at J&K Bank Branch in Leh, sources added.
For issuing Compulsory Health Certificate (CHC) for advance yatra registration, sources further stated that more than 230 doctors have also been authorized in various medical centers in all 20 districts of Jammu and Kashmir.
Of these, they said 76 doctors are to be deployed in Kashmir division and 162 in Jammu division while certificates will also be issued in district hospitals, community medical centers including health centres, NTPHC and UPHC.
“The permit to each pilgrim will be issued from the bank on the payment of Rs 150,” sources said and added that for group registration, facility has been provided for five or more pilgrims and the applications for the same will be issued by May 31.
Sources said, “The group registration shall be issued on ‘first come, first serve’ basis,” adding, “a fee of Rs 250 has been fixed for pilgrim registration certificate and it is mandatory to submit an Aadhaar Card, Health Certificate etc. in the application form for group registration.”
Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, who is also Chairman of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) also chaired a meeting last month here at the Raj Bhawan and discussed the arrangements and preparations for the yatra.
The 52-day long pilgrimage will conclude on August 19 on the occasion of Sawan Purnima coinciding with Rakshabandhan.
“After the conclusion of the Lok Sabha polls, the administration will get busy with Shri Amarnath preparations,” sources added.

Sources said this time track has been improved up to holy cave to a standard size as per the directives of Supreme Court. Besides, 100 bedded state of art hospitals with latest facilities have been taken over by SASB from DRDO and will be fully operational this year one at Chandanwari and another at Baltal, sources added.
Moreover, 3.75 km long By Pass from Chandanwari to Pissu Top will be completed well before the yatra time, sources said, adding the sharp slope on this track was giving problems to yatris earlier and it was almost fatal for pilgrims of all age groups to move on this track especially during natural calamities. But the construction of bypass will ease the movement of the pilgrims, sources added.
They said that the snow clearance on both the tracks has also been taken up on war footing. As heavy snowfall was recorded during the Winter on both the axis besides the track has also suffered damage due to avalanches which are being cleared well before the annual pilgrimage begins.
It may be recalled that last year yatra was of 62 days commencing from July 1 and conclude on August 31 from both the tracks of Baltal in Ganderbbal district and Pahalgam in Anantnag district. However, the yatra was suspended from August 23 due to reduction in pilgrims flow.

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