With Shri Amarnath Shrine board (SASB) restricting the use of the base camp for the Amarnath pilgrimage at Jammu to be used for free langars,Jammu and Kashmir government has intervened into the matter and decided to acquire the private land for allowing the people to put up free food stalls during the yatra period for the pilgrims.
Highly place official sources said that the government has decided to acquire the private land against the proper compensation as the Jammu and Kashmir Governor,N N Vohra,as Chairman of the SASB,earlier directed that the Yatri Niwas at Bhagwati Naga should in no circumstances be allowed for the free langars and stalls should only be set up outside the government complex.
Sources said that with no adequate government land available for putting up the free food stalls for the pilgrims,government has decided to earmark the private land where the langars can be organised.
Sources said that in a recent meeting which was taken by Jammu Divisional Commissioner,Pawan Kotwal,it was decided that the Jammu Development Authority and the Revenue department will earmark the private land outside the Bhagwati Nagar complex to be used for langars.
However Divisional Commissioner Jammu,said,that the allowing the private persons to set up stalls for langar for the Amarnath pilgrims was being looked after the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB).
However sources said that with not more than 18 days left for the start of Amarnath pilgrimage,it was difficult to acquire the private land. Deputy Commissioner Jammu,M K Bhandari,admitted that the acquisition of the government land was difficult within the short span of less than three weeks.
For the Langar,we may use the same space which was used last year,” he said.
According to officials,within the Yatri Niwas complex,it was only the tourism department which will provide food to the pilgrims. Sources said that the tourism department is opening the food corner within the Yatri Niwas complex for providing the food to the pilgrims which will be run through some private agency.
Officials said that for the pilgrims,a restaurant will be opened within the Yatri Niwas even before the Amarnath pilgrimage starts.
As per the schedule which has been framed by the State government the Amarnath yatra will be flagged off on 5 June by Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Minister,Nawang Rigzin Jora. A Jammu and Kashmir tourism department official,said,We have floated the bids for opening of a restaurant at the Yatri Niwas.”
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