New Delhi: The Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) started the registration for the annual pilgrimage to the cave shrine devoted to Lord Shiva on Monday. The annual pilgrimage is scheduled to start on June 25, but the registration process across the country started much earlier to enable the state administration to make suitable arrangements for the pilgrims. The pilgrimage will end with Raksha Bandhan on Aug 2.
The process of registering pilgrims for this year's Amarnath Yatra commenced on May 7 simultaneously for both the Baltal and Chandanwari routes, through 174 bank branches and via the internet based e-registration system. The decision to commence the registration for this year's yatra was taken during an extensive review meeting held by Governor N N Vohra, who also is chairman of the shrine board.
The pilgims' registration will commence across the country at 121 designated branches of the Jammu & Kashmir Bank, 49 branches of the Yes Bank and four district Cooperative Banks. The complete details of all the registration centres are on the board's website, www.shriamarnathjishrine.com.
The board has required that every pilgrim should have a health certificate issued by a Registered Medical Practitioner (RMP). During the 2009, 2010 and 2011 yatras respectively, 45, 68 and 107 pilgrims had lost their lives.
Since most pilgrims do not pay serious attention to the health advisories, the board has decided that they should undergo a compulsory health check-up and furnish a health certificate from a Registered Medical Practitioner when they apply for a yatra permit.
The Meteorological Department will also establish three advanced warning systems (AWS) at the Amarnath cave, Pahalgam and Baltal base camps to ensure better forecast of weather conditions for the smooth conduct of Amarnath Yatra this year. The Met Department has also decided to install weather display board at the Nunwan Base Camp as well as at Baltal Base Camp for the benefit of Yatris.
The Met is also in the process of establishing Doppler Radar at Srinagar for which the procurement process is at an advanced stage. Once established, this will provide a huge facility for more accurate weather prediction in the Kashmir valley.