April 1:Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Dr. Asgar Hassan Samoon Friday convened a meeting to review arrangements for smooth conduct of upcoming annual Shri Amarnath Yatra and directed the officials of Forest department to go for massive plantation drive enroute holy cave via Sonamarg.
The Divisional Commissioner said frequent landslides on Baltal and other areas along the Yatra route leads to frequent blockades and directed officers to go for a large scale plantation drive along the Yatra track. He said plantation will help stabilize the slopes and will reduce frequent avalanches and landslides in future.
The meeting discussed various matters including registration of ponies, labourers, accommodation, medi-care facilities, transport facilities, ration, boarding and lodging facilities, supply of drinking water, sanitation and cleanliness besides establishment of control rooms at all halting stations. ATM and communication facilities for intending pilgrims were also reviewed in the meeting.
During the meeting officials of R&B informed the Divisional Commissioner that they have started repair and renovation works on the Sonamarg-Baltal route and road stretches which are yet under snow will be repaired soon after snow melts.
DC Anantnag informed the meeting that Pahalgam Development Authority has started for the up-gradation of track through Pahalgam The Div Com directed all the concerned departments to submit their proposals of the new works to be executed for Yatra 2016 well before time and to convey the shortfalls, if any, to DC Anantnag so that appropriate measures are taken before the commencement of Yatra.
Deputy Commissioners of Anantnag and Ganderbal informed the meeting that various medical care centres will be set up enroute Yatra and an Emergency Operation Centres will be set up at Chandanwari and Baltal.
During meeting the Div Com asked the police officials to allow the tourists including local schools to visit Pahalgam and Sonamarg. He said such trips by students during Yatra will help the children to know about Yatra and the diverse culture of the country and will act as a tool of building communal harmony.
He also asked the security agencies to ensure convenience and peaceful atmosphere for tourists while making security arrangements for Yatra. He said the local tourism should not get affected while Yatra is going on.
Samoon stressed upon the concerned officers/agencies for making all arrangements in advance besides stocking of essential commodities, firewood and making other logistic arrangements at the identified spots.
The meeting was attended by Deputy Commissioners of Anantnag and Ganderbal, Chief Conservator Forests, Chief Engineer R&B and Deputy Labour Commissioner besides officials of Pahalgam Development Authority.