Amarnath pilgrims to be provided mobile connectivity

This year, pilgrims undertaking annual Amarnath yatra can procure a short-term `yatra card`, a pre-paid SIM which will have a validity of seven days.

New Delhi: This year pilgrims undertaking the annual yatra to Amarnath shrine can procure a short-term `yatra card`, a pre-paid SIM which will have a validity of seven days.

The Union Home Ministry has given in-principle approval for having such a facility, the first time since mobile operations started in the country, in view of problems faced by pilgrims who do not have mobile connectivity, official sources said.

At a recent meeting, it was reasoned out that many people undertaking the pilgrimage possessed pre-paid mobile connection, which according to the security regulations enforced in Jammu and Kashmir will not work in the state.

It was agreed that pilgrims arriving at Jammu, Pahalgham in south Kashmir or Baltal in northeast of Kashmir from June 25 can avail the option of pre-paid SIM cards, the sources said.

They said a SIM card given to a pilgrim will be working for seven days after being issued and there will be no provision of recharge after that.
This service will be provided by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited only and major private telecom players like Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance, Aircel and Idea have been asked to provide an inter-connectivity for this purpose, the sources said, adding an agreement would be arrived shortly between BSNL and private operators.
Pilgrims opting for a pre-paid SIM will have to provide their Unique Identification number or attested copies of their residence proof, the sources said.


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