Life returns to normal at Baltal base camp

SRINAGAR: The government on Sunday said that the life was returning to normalcy at Baltal base camp after heavy rains and cloudburst on Friday night.
Baltal is base camp for Amarnath pilgrimage and at this time of the year bustling with Hindu pilgrims from India.
A government spokesman said that governor N.N. Vohra, Chairman of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), reviewed the current status of the restoration works which were being carried out to clear the enormous debris which had flowed downhill near the Baltal base camp after the heavy rains and cloudburst.
P. K. Tripathi, CEO of SASB, said that Jitendra Kumar Singh, Additional CEO of SASB, had rushed to the base camp early Saturday morning to co-ordinate the rescue and rehabilitation works.
The CEO informed the governor that by deploying the required manpower and machinery, the enormous accumulation of debris had since been largely cleared and the parking space near the Base Camp had been restored for use.
The governor was also informed that the road from Srinagar to Baltal is likely to be opened for two-way traffic from Monday, for the movement of pilgrims from the Manigam camp to Baltal.
“One person who had been seriously injured in yesterday’s cloudburst, Abdul Karim, resident of Shopian, who had been airlifted to Srinagar by the Shrine Board is responding well to the treatment at SKIMS, Srinagar. The other 10 persons, who had suffered minor injuries, have since been discharged from Baltal Base Hospital after receiving treatment,” the spokesman said.
Power and water supply are fully functional and sufficient stocks of essential commodities are also available at the base camp. All the langars, except one which suffered some damage, are functioning normally in Baltal, the spokesman added.
The CEO informed that yesterday, despite stoppages and hold-ups on the Baltal end, the pilgrimage had continued without any interruption from the Pahalgam route.
“The helicopter services had been functioning and 4890 Yatris had darshan at the holy cave by Saturday evening, taking the total number of Yatris who had paid obeisance to 2,90,943,” the spokesman said.
“On Sunday morning, 676 yatris from the Baltal route and 2953 yatris from the Chandanwari route left for holy cave and 3924 Yatris, who had stayed overnight at the Sheshnag and Panjtarni yatra camps, had been able to complete their darshan by the afternoon,” the spokesman added.
The governor was informed that, after the restoration of Srinagar-Baltal Road, the yatra was expected to resume, from Monday onwards, if there were no unforeseen interruptions due to inclement weather.

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