SRINAGAR: In view of considerable snow accumulation in Sheshnag Yatra camp, the Amarnath Yatra via the Pahalgam-Sheshnag route would not commence on June 28, an official handout said Wednesday.
“In 2013-14 winter, the Himalayan mountain ranges in the entire Yatra area witnessed very heavy snowfalls. The very large accumulation of snow in the Yatra area, and the slow rate of snow-melt, has caused serious concern to the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) whose officers have been undertaking regular assessments of the ground situation,” it said.
In the past weeks, the Governor N.N. Vohra, who is the chairman of the SASB, undertook an aerial reconnaissance of the entire Yatra area, which was followed by on-ground surveys by R.K. Gupta, CEO of the Shrine Board, and by Shailendra Kumar, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir.
On Wednesday, the Governor and CEO undertook a day long tour to visit the cave shrine, Panjtarni Yatra Camp, Sheshnag Yatra Camp via 14500 feet high Mahagunus Pass and the Pahalgam Yatra Camp.
“It was observed that the snow track along Panjtarni-Mahagunus Top-Sheshnag is still under very significant snow cover. After the Governor’s inspection of the area of the Sheshnag Yatra Camp, along with CEO and senior officers of army, BSF, CRPF and others, it was observed that, on an average, the entire camp site was still covered by one and a half to two feet of snow,” the handout said.
On return to Srinagar later in the day, the Governor held a meeting with K. Rajendra, DGP; Shailendra Kumar, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir; Abdul Gani Mir, IGP, Kashmir; R. K. Gupta, CEO, SASB; and Preet Pal Singh, Additional CEO, SASB. The DGP and the IG, Kashmir, had also visited the Yatra area on Wednesday and particularly viewed the ground situation in Sheshnag Camp.
“After detailed discussions the meeting chaired by the Governor decided that, keeping in view the considerable snow accumulation in the entire area of the Sheshnag Yatra Camp, and also keeping in view the present status of the track from Sheshnag Camp-Mahagunus Pass-Panjtarni Camp, the Yatra via the Pahalgam-Sheshnag route would not commence on the June 28,” the handout said.
“The Governor directed that the pace of the ongoing clearing of snows and repair and renovation work should be further enhanced and he would review the progress every day. The meeting further decided that the pilgrims who are registered to undertake the Yatra from the Pahalgam route on June 28, 29, 30 would, if they so wished, be enabled to travel to the Shrine by the Baltal route, which would open on June 28, as scheduled.”
It was decided that a further meeting, chaired by the Governor, would be held on June 30 afternoon to review whether the Pahalgam route could be opened from July 1, the handout added.