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LG lays foundation stone of office-cum-Yatri Niwas of SASB

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New Yatri Niwas with best-in-class facilities to accommodate more than 3000 pilgrims

Srinagr: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha Friday laid the foundation stone of the office-cum-‘Yatri Niwas’ of the Shrine Board here which would provide best-in-class facilities to the devotees of Shri Amarnathji, an official said.

The facility is being built over 25 kanal of land at Pantha Chowk in the outskirts of the city.

An official spokesman said the facility is expected to be completed in 18 months and the Yatri Niwas could accommodate more than 3000 pilgrims.

Speaking on the occasion, the LG, who is also the Chairman of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB), said the project is aimed at ensuring a comfortable stay for Amarnath pilgrims at Srinagar who come from all over the world for the annual pilgrimage.

It will also act as an information centre for the guidance of pilgrims, he said, adding many similar works would be completed for the smooth conduct of the Yatra.

“The government of J&K is initiating various services, along with the infrastructural development to provide a memorable experience to millions of devotees of Shri Amarnathji,” the LG said.

“We are planning to construct Yatri Niwas in various parts of the UT (union territory), besides a permanent office and a bigger Yatri Niwas will soon come up at Jammu to facilitate a large number of visiting devotees,” he said.

Another Yatri Niwas with the capacity to accommodate 3,200 pilgrims is coming up at Chanderkote of Ramban district, he added.

Sinha said that with modern facilities and conducive environment being created, the day is not far when the pilgrims visiting Amarnath shrine would cross the 10 lakh mark which will make a greater impact on the economy of J&K.

A study is also being conducted for exploring the feasibility of setting up a ropeway at Amarnath Shrine, he said.

Nitishwar Kumar, the Chief Executive Officer of the Board, termed the project a historic development.

The CEO highlighted the recent developments made by SASB for facilitating the pilgrims.

The SASB has brought ‘darshan’, ‘hawan’, and ‘prasad’ facility under the virtual mode where the devotees of Lord Shiva from across the world can perform online virtual ‘puja’ and ‘hawan’ at the Holy Cave, and priests at shrine would offer it in the devotees’ name.

Prasad will be subsequently delivered at the doorsteps of the devotees, he said.

Kumar said for the first time, “we have a 24×7 dedicated portal wherein the devotees can watch the live darshan of Holy Ice Lingam uninterruptedly through the Jio-TV live streams”.

These steps have been initiated in the wake of the cancellation of this year’s Yatra, the CEO SASB said.

Mahant Deependra Giri also spoke on the occasion and said that the upcoming Yatri Niwas is a much-needed facility.

Earlier, the LG launched the “Shri Amarnath Ishwaram”, a signature video song on Shri Amarnath and dedicated the same to the devotees on the auspicious occasion of Shravan Shivratri.

Released under the banner of T-Series, the video song was composed by Aman Pant, while devotees worldwide can experience the powerful Shiva mantra in the voice of renowned singer Sachet Tandon.

Popular singer Sachet Tandon and music composer Aman Pant also joined through video conferencing and shared their experience of working on this devotional video song.

J&K set to become a hub of economic activities: LG

Srinagar: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today said that Jammu and Kashmir is all set to become a hub of economic activities.

On the sidelines of a function held here today, Sinha told a national TV channel that “the establishment of Yatri Niwas is a historic step to give boost to the religious tourism in the Union territory.”

He said that while tourists have been thronging the UT in good numbers, a positive message has gone all over about the hospitality of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Insisting that his administration is focused on development of the region, he said that all the sectors, be it tourism, horticulture, handicrafts, etc., are getting serious attention.

He said that the government’s focus is on speedy development and 80 percent projects are to be completed within a year while as some projects make take two years.

Commenting about Mission Youth, he said that when he took over as LG, “the unemployment rate in J&K was 19.6 percent which has now come down to 10.6 percent.

“Our unemployment rate is better than Rajasthan, Goa and some other states,” he said.

He further said that 20,000 youth have been assisted in self-employment schemes last year and this year the number of such is going to reach one lakh.

Commenting on UT’s new Film policy, LG said that Kashmir used to be a favourite destination of Bollywood and his administration’s intention is to attract filmmakers in good numbers.

“We have even identified some hitherto unexplored destinations and the way the film-makers are responding, I am sure this place will once again be a favourite destination of Bollywood,” he said.

When asked that some people are spreading a narrative that nothing has changed on the ground in Jammu and Kashmir, LG said that such narratives have no shelf-life.

“We are working for peace, progress and prosperity of the region and people here know that, and therefore we should not care about such false narratives,” he said.

When asked that how he looks at India, which is celebrating 75th year of independence this month and also at Jammu and Kashmir, LG said, “A new Bharat is emerging on the world map and likewise a new J&K too is emerging within India.”

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