Jammu : The annual pilgrimage to the Amarnath shrine in South Kashmir may not take place this year in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. Expressing its apprehensions, the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, at a meeting chaired by the UT’s Lt Governor G C Murmu in Jammu Wednesday, said that “as on date, it may not be possible to organise the yatra 2020”, according to an official release. “Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic situation being dynamic, appropriate decision on organising the yatra can be taken on review of the situation in coming furture,” it added.
Earlier on Wednesday, the UT administration, as well as the shrine board, had said the yatra would be cancelled this year. However, that press release was later withdrawn. The statement about cencelling the pilgrimage had cited that the yatra route passes through 77 red zones identified in the Kashmir valley, and due to the pandemic, the establishment of camps, medical facilities, snow clearance etc. would not be possible. The meeting was attended by DC Raina; Prof. Anita Billawaria; Dr. Sudershan Kumar; Dr. C.M. Seth and Prof. Vishwamurti Shastri, all members of the Board, besides Bipul Pathak, Chief Executive Officer; Anup Kumar Soni, Additional Chief Executive Officer among other senior officers of the Shrine Board. Swami Avdheshanand Giri Ji Maharaja and Dr Devi Prasad Shetty attended the meeting through video conferencing. The 41-day Amarnath yatra is scheduled to begin this year on June 23 and culminate on August 3. (Source : Indian Express)