Amarnath Yatra duration cut short for pilgrims` safety: SASB
The Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) defended its decision to curtail the annual Amarnath Yatra by 15 days saying the step was taken to ensure safe and smooth conduct of the arduous pilgrimage.
Jammu: The Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) on Wednesday defended its decision to curtail the annual Amarnath
Yatra by 15 days saying the step was taken to ensure safe and
smooth conduct of the arduous pilgrimage.
"The decision regarding the duration and schedule of
Yatra 2011, along both the Chandanwari and Baltal routes, was
taken by the Board after extensive discussions on February 18,
2011. Which took into consideration all the factors for
ensuring safe and smooth conduct of pilgrimage," Chief
Executive Officer (CEO) of SASB, R K Goyal, said here today.
He was reacting to the protest and submission of
memorandum by Baba Amarnath Yatri Niyas (BAYN) against the
decision of the Board.
A delegation of Amarnath Yatri Niyas headed by its
President Surinder Mohan Agarwal presented a memorandum to
Goyal here today at Raj Bhavan.
The memorandum makes an appeal to the Governor, who is
also the Chairman of the Shrine Board, for reconsidering the
Board`s decision in regard to the duration of this year`s
It is necessary to recall that during the 1996 Yatra,
243 pilgrims had lost their lives due to an unforeseen
climatic catastrophe, Goyal said, adding that this incident
was enquired into by Nitish Sen Gupta Enquiry Committee.
The Gupta Committee had concluded that the period of the
Yatra should be spread over around 30 days, roughly from July
1 to August 15, depending on the day when the Raksha-Purnima
falls, Goyal said.
Another important factor relating to the duration of
the Yatra is the trend among the Yatris to complete their
pilgrimage within the first 25-30 days, he said.
Past experiences have shown that it is not practical to
initially fix an early date for the commencement of the Yatra
and then alter it because of bad weather conditions, Goyal