Srinagar: In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, the J&K administration is likely to allow only 2,000 pilgrims in a day during the 14-day Amarnath Yatra via the shorter Baltal route in Ganderbal district, said shrine board sources. They said registrations shall be made online.
Due to the spike in Covid-19 infections across the country, uncertainty looms large over the annual pilgrimage to the 3,880-metre high cave shrine in south Kashmir.
The works section of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) is awaiting the J&K administration’s nod for the Baltal route so it could undertake the maintenance tracks leading to the shrine, they added.
So far, it has been decided that barring sadhus, no pilgrims above the age of 55 years will be allowed to embark on the yatra, which will take the shorter Baltal route.
“All those undertaking the pilgrimage must possess Covid-negative certificates. The pilgrims will be cross-checked for the infection upon entry into J&K before they are allowed to undertake the yatra,” said an official requesting anonymity.
The SASB is also looking to telecast the live aarti from the cave shrine in the morning and evening for the devotees, the official added.
Another official said since it would be a curtailed yatra, the SASB is mulling to allow it via helicopters only.
However, lieutenant governor’s principal secretary and SASB CEO Bipul Pathak said, “The board is yet to meet and take a decision.” (HT)