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Amarnath Yatra resumes from Baltal route after three day-suspension

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Srinagar, Jul 07: Amarnath Yatra resumed on Saturday from the Baltal route after remaining suspended for three days due to inclement weather.

“The yatra resumed on Saturday. A batch of pilgrims was allowed to undertake journey early morning from Baltal base camp towards the cave shrine for darshan,” said an official.

The pilgrimage was suspended three days ago following landslides along Baltal track and bad weather.

Officials said that on the 10th day of the Yatra, 10,107 pilgrims paid obeisance at the holy cave.

A total of 83,130 pilgrims have visited the cave shrine in the south Kashmir Himalayas during this year's pilgrimage so far.

The SASB spokesman said on the directions of Governor N N Vohra, MI-17 helicopters of the Indian Air Force continued to operate today and evacuated the remaining 241 of the 567 pilgrims, who were stranded at Panjtarni.

He added that to address the serious problems caused by landslides, particularly between Railpathri and Brarimarg, the critical spots were identified and preventive measures -- laying of wire mesh, lighting of the track, raising of breast walls -- were being undertaken on emergency basis to ensure the safety of the pilgrims, in addition to the deployment of rescue teams.

Meanwhile, the Yatra also resumed today from Jammu after it was suspended for two days due to inclement weather in Kashmir, with a batch of over 2,200 pilgrims leaving for the Pahalgam base camp for the 3,880-metre-high holy cave shrine, officials said.

However, the pilgrims registered for the Baltal route were not allowed to leave the Bhagwati Nagar base camp for the Valley as the authorities had suspended the Yatra from the shorter 12-km track due to slippery conditions and incidents of shooting of stones, they said.

The pilgrimage from the traditional 36-km Pahalgam route had resumed yesterday.

"The 8th batch of 2,203 Pahalgam-bound pilgrims, including 311 women, left in a convoy of 51 vehicles from the Bhagwati Nagar base camp at around 0240 hours and are expected to reach the base camp in Anantnag district of south Kashmir later in the day," a police official said.

The Yatra was suspended from the Jammu base camp on Thursday to avoid overcrowding in the camps in the Valley after heavy rains coupled with landslides and shooting of stones forced suspension of the Yatra from the twin tracks a day earlier.

Due to the suspension of the Yatra, thousands of pilgrims also got stranded in the winter capital after they reached here from across the country to undertake the annual pilgrimage in south Kashmir Himalayas.

Jammu Divisional Commissioner Sanjeev Verma said around 20,000 pilgrims are staying in various identified centres and directions have been issued to all the officers concerned for ensuring healthcare, sanitation, uninterrupted water and power supply for the comfortable stay of the pilgrims.

"The administration at the highest level is monitoring the safety, health and comfort of the yatris and the officers are on round the clock duty for security and other arrangements made for Yatra," he said.

He said necessary measures were initiated to accommodate the heavy rush of pilgrims.

Verma said many pilgrims are also visiting other pilgrim tourist destinations like the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine and Shri Shiv Khori Shrine under tour packages of Tourism department.

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