Press Trust of india

 ‘60K KPs likely to visit Mela Kheerbhawani in Valley’

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Jammu, June 04:  Over 60,000 displaced Kashmiri Pandits from various parts of India and abroad are expected to visit five famous temples in the Kashmir Valley during "Mela Kheerbhawani" starting on Zeasht Astami on June 10.

Relief Commissioner T K Bhat Tuesday completed his visits to all the five shrines in the Valley to supervise the massive arrangements on the occasion and expressed satisfaction over the administrative measures for it.

"We have finalised all arrangements in connections with the Yatra. I along with the respective heads of various districts and officers visited all the five temples and put in place all the required arrangements," Bhat told reporters here.

For the last few days, Bhat has been busy visiting the five temples of goddess Ragniya and Mata Tripursundri in Kashmir Valley to finalise the security, boarding and lodging, and transportation facilities enroute and at the shrines.

Bhat visited the temples along with All Party Migrant Coordination Committee (APMCC) chairman Vinod Pandita and officials of various districts where shrines are located.

The administrative teams visited temples of Tulmulla in Ganderbal district, Tikker in Kupwara, Laktipora Aishmuqam in Anantnag and Mata Tripursundri Devsar and Mata Kheerbhawani Manzgam in Kulgam district.

Zeasht Ashtami is celebrated by Kashmiri Pandits across the country and outside and they try to visit Mela Kheerbawani in the Valley on the occasion.

This year the mela is expected to attract huge participation by over 60 to 70,000 displaced Kashmiri Pandits, said Pandita.

He said owing to militancy since 2016, the participation by Kashmiri Pandits has been low, but this year there are indications of a surge in the participation by them.

The Relief Commissioner's Office has deployed over 100 vehicles to ferry people from various migrant camps and other places in Jammu and Delhi to these temples in Kashmir, said Bhat.

Most of the community members are likely to undertake their journey with their families in their own vehicles, but the state administration too has made transportation arrangements for those who cannot afford it, he said, adding the registration is still on for facilitating others.

The official teams visiting the shrines reviewed the arrangements for Zeasth Ashtami from 7th to 12th June for devotees as per Kashmir Divisional Commissioner Bashir Ahmad Khan's directions.

Apart from the security, other arrangements made by the administration include availability of portable water, sanitation, fire and emergency services, blankets, LPG, sleeping bags, cylinders, rice, Aata and kerosene oil.

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