Pilgrims can’t start Amarnath Yatra before June 25

Hindu pilgrims are reaching North and South Kashmir transit camps for the annual Amarnath Yatra.

Updated: Jun 23, 2012, 13:58 PM IST

Srinagar: Hindu pilgrims reaching North and South Kashmir transit camps for the annual Amarnath Yatra would not be allowed to proceed further before June 25, the official date when the pilgrimage to the cave shrine begins, officials said here on Saturday.

"The schedule cannot be changed for the pilgrims who have already reached the Yatra transit camps," Navin Kumar Chowdhary, chief executive officer of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) which manages the affairs of the Yatra, said.

"The Yatra begins on June 25 and the pilgrims must follow the schedule for their own safety," he added.

Inclement weather on the Yatra route is posing a major challenge for the SASB which is clearing the tracks to the cave shrine.

Reports from South Kashmir`s Sheshnag, Pissu Top and Panchtarni halts said a thick blanket of snow still covered these places.

Police on Saturday stopped several vehicles carrying pilgrims at the North Kashmir`s Manigam and South Kashmir`s Mir Bazar transit camps.

"We have been issued orders to prohibit pilgrims from moving towards the shrine till Monday", a police official said.

Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra, who is also the chairman of the SASB, visited North Kashmir`s Baltal base camp early Saturday to take stock of the arrangements for the smooth conduct of the Amarnath Yatra, an official said.