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Amarnath Yatra halted due to bad weather

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Srinagar, Jul 04: The annual Amarnath Yatra was halted along both Baltal and Pahalgam routes on Wednesday due to overnight heavy rainfall, landslides and slippery road conditions.

Officials in Ganderbal said that the Yatra has been halted from Baltal route in view of inclement weather and bad road condition. Officials in Anantnag also said the Yatra has been halted on Pahalgam route as well due to bad weather and slippery road condition.

“No pilgrim was allowed to undertake journey from Nunwan base camp towards the cave shrine today,” he said.

Last evening, a landslide triggered by heavy rains hit the Baltal route between Brarimarg and Railpathri, resulting into death of three pilgrims and injuries to four others.

An official said that teams of army, state police, civil administration, NDRF, SDRF, ITBP, MRT, and CRPF were clearing the track hit by the landslide.

Meanwhile, in Jammu today, seventh batch of 3,708 pilgrims left the Bhagwati Nagar base camp for the 3,888-metre high cave shrine amid tight security, a senior official said.

He said the pilgrims, including 622 women and 232 Sadhus, left for the cave shrine in 114 vehicles from the Bhagwati Nagar base camp here at 2:30 am.

Yesterday, 18,467 pilgrims had paid obeisance at the shrine.

So far, 54,833 pilgrims have visited the cave shrine by taking the 36-km Pahalgam track in Anantnag district and 12-km Baltal route in Ganderbal since the commencement of the annual 60-day pilgrimage on June 28, the official said.

With today’s batch, a total of 27,426 pilgrims have left Jammu base camp for their onward journey to Amarnath shrine, he said.

Despite incessant rains which even posed a threat of flash floods in the Valley, the Yatra to the cave shrine commenced as per scheduled on June 28 after several hours of delay but faced frequent disruptions owing to continuous rainfall, slippery condition of the tracks and landslides.

The 60-day Yatra is scheduled to conclude on August 26 coinciding with the ‘Raksha Bandhan’ festival.

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