Amid heightened security, Amarnath Yatra started in the Kashmir Valley on Saturday (July 1). Over 3400 registered pilgrims took the journey on the very first day of the start of the Amarnath Yatra. Before sunrise, the pilgrims who had reached the base camps at Nunwan in Pahalgam and Baltal in Sonamarg started the journey towards the Holy cave.
The Amarnath Yatra will be on for 62 days this year with over 60 thousand security forces brought in to secure the pilgrims and the route to the Holy Cave. A three-tier security system has been put in place to make sure the Yatra is carried out peacefully. The journey to the Holy Cave located at an altitude of 3,880 metres in the Himalayan hills of South Kashmir will be covered by pilgrims from two routes.
The terror organisation TRF, an offshoot of Lashkar, had issued a threat for the Amarnath Yatra. And most of the security arrangements have been given to the paramilitary forces like CRPF and also to Jammu and Kashmir Police. The deployment of forces has been done from the Jammu region and through the National Highway to Kashmir.
The authorities have made all the arrangements with regard to any natural disaster due to erratic weather etc. Hundreds of members from the Disaster Management, SDRF, and NDRF teams have been deployed on both routes of the Yatra. The government has also made sure to use the latest technology and equipment for the safety of the pilgrims.
All the registered Yatris taking the pilgrimage have been provided with RFID (Radio Frequency Identification). This is to make sure that all the pilgrims are tagged and while they take the journey, the authorities would know their exact locations. The CCTV cameras are being used across the routes of the Yatra.
Hundreds of langar’s (free food stalls) have been placed at the base camps and all through the routes of the Yatra. The locals have also set up shops for the pilgrims. The government has also established ATMs and many other facilities for the pilgrims.
The government has also made a makeshift 100-bed hospital at both the base camps in Chandanwari and Nunwan for providing better healthcare facilities to the pilgrims undertaking Amarnath Yatra.