Press Trust of india

Vehicles ferrying Amarnath pilgrims to get radio-frequency tags

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Jammu, Jun 14 : Vehicles ferrying pilgrims to Amarnath Shrine in Jammu and Kashmir will be equipped with Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) tags as part of enhanced safety measures, officials said today.

The 60-day long annual pilgrimage in south Kashmir will commence on June 28 and culminate on August 26.

“The vehicles used by the Amarnath pilgrims, shall be tagged with RFID tags, which shall enable the security forces to have real time information on their movement and location,” Commandant CRPF, Ashish Kumar Jha said.

Highlighting that the decision was taken at a meeting between police and CRPF that was addressed by SP Vaid, DGP, J&K, and V S K Kaumudi, Special DG, CRPF, Jha said the tags will aid in providing assistance in case a vehicle breaks down or the pilgrims need help.

Tagging facility will be available in a special dedicated lane at Lakhanpur for vehicles from other states while, the Bhagwati Nagar Base Camp in Jammu will be another major point for tagging vehicles, he said.

Vehicles at taxi stands, bus stands, railway station and the airport at Jammu will also be tagged, he added.

The government forces shall be undertaking a multipronged approach to sensitise pilgrims as well as tourists on the need to register their vehicles during the period of the Yatra, as it will be in public interest, he added.

Devotees throng the shrine to worship the Shiva Lingam, which is formed inside the cave every year as the water dropping from the cave’s roof freezes.

A multi-tier security will be put in place for the smooth conduct of the pilgrimage which attracts a few lakh pilgrims every year.

Tracking of pilgrims’ movement through satellites, installation of jammers, CCTV cameras and bulletproof bunkers, deployment of dog squads, quick reaction teams and thousands of security personnel will be a part of the security drill along the pilgrimage routes as the situation in Kashmir Valley continues to be volatile, the officials said.

Situated in a narrow gorge at the end of Lidder Valley, Amarnath shrine stands at 3,888 metres, 46 km from Pahalgam and 14 km from Baltal in Kashmir.

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