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Erect banners welcoming Amarnath pilgrims, Kashmir divisional commissioner tells officials

The order asks officials to send samples of these welcome banners for approval before installing them.

Written by Bashaarat Masood | Srinagar |
Updated: May 24, 2022 3:32:44 pm
While various government departments, especially the tourism department, and non-governmental organisations would install welcome banners on the yatra route, this is for the first time that the government has specifically asked for it. (Express Photo by Praveen Khanna/File)

The Kashmir divisional commissioner has directed officials to install banners welcoming Amarnath pilgrims in all panchayats in the Valley that fall on the route from Qazigund to the cave shrine.

The order said officials should send samples of these welcome banners for approval before installing them. “I am directed to request you to kindly install welcome banners for Shri Amarnath ji yatris in all panchayat halqas/ village(s)/ municipal area along the yatra route,” reads the order issued by Pandurag K Pole, divisional commissioner Kashmir, and directed to the director of rural development and urban bodies. “Also share different samples of welcome banners to this office by 27th May for approval of divisional commissioner Kashmir”.

While various government departments, especially the tourism department, and non-governmental organisations would install welcome banners on the yatra route, this is for the first time that the government has specifically asked for it.

The directive has further asked the officials to finalise locations for erecting these welcome banners. “Moreover, the ACDs /EOs shall be directed to finalise the location in coordination with respective deputy commissioners of districts Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama, Budgam, Srinagar, Bandipora and Ganderbal,” the order reads.

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The annual Amarnath pilgrimage starts on June 30 and will conclude on August 11. The Centre has said that this year’s yatra would be “historic and six to eight lakh pilgrims would visit” the cave shrine. Located deep inside the Himalayas, the cave shrine can be accessed through the Qazigund- Anantnag-Pahalgam axis and the Qazigund-Anannag-Pulwama- Srinagar-Bandipore- Ganderbal-Sonamarg-Baltal axis. While most people take the Baltal route, a 16-km trek from Baltal to the shrine, some pilgrims take the arduous Pahalgam trek that takes three days to reach the Amarnath cave.

In a separate directive, divisional commissioner Pole has asked deputy commissioners to visit the yatra route and prepare a list of “vacant and under construction buildings” in villages along the route. The officials have also been directed to prepare a list of all petrol pumps, hotels, eating points and submit it to the divisional commissioner’s office.

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