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Over 12,000 pilgrims register for first day of Amarnath yatra

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AMARNATHSrinagar, June 27;Over 12,700 pilgrims have registered themselves for the first day of the pilgrimage to holy cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas as the annual yatra is all set to begin on Friday.

“A total of 12,717 pilgrims have secured registration for the first day of Yatra (June 28) for both Pahalgam and Baltal routes,” a spokesman of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) said here.

He said 6,567 pilgrims have registered to travel by the Baltal route while 6,150 have preferred the Pahalgam route.

The spokesman said the SASB has fixed a ceiling of 7,500 pilgrims per day per route for this year’s pilgrimage.

“This excludes pilgrims who travel by the Heliservices up to Panjtarni, whose number may vary between 1,000 and 1,400, depending upon the number of sorties undertaken during the day,” he added.

Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra, who is also the chairman of the SASB, chaired a high-level meeting to review the yatra arrangements.

The spokesman said the governor has, earlier, discussed Yatra related issues with Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, in the wake of the Uttarakhand tragedy to reiterate the importance of the district administration strictly ensuring against any unregistered pilgrim being allowed to undertake the Yatra.

The SASB has decided not to allow any unregistered pilgrims to proceed beyond the base camps at Baltal and Pahalgam this year following high number of deaths last year.

A valid health certificate has been made mandatory for the yatris this year while only pilgrims between age of 13 years and 75 years will be allowed to perform the yatra.

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