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Amarnath devotees throng booking counters as Tatkal registration resumes

Amarnath devotees throng booking counters as Tatkal registration resumes
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Jammu: A day after Tatkal registration for the Amarnath Yatra resumed here after suspension for three days, hundreds of people thronged the on-the-spot booking counters.

The Tatkal registration was resumed on Wednesday after the pilgrimage was suspended from Saturday to Monday due to inclement weather and the closure of the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway for repairs in the Ramban section.

Braving the hot and humid weather conditions, devotees including women are patiently waiting in long queues to get a registration token.

“We have been waiting in long queues since morning for the registration. We will first get a token and then have to get a health checkup done, only after which we can proceed with the registration process,” Kapil Dev Pandey, a Maharashtra resident who came here for the pilgrimage, told PTI.

Pandey, however, pointed out that there should be more counters to attend to the huge number of people.

Over 1,500 unregistered pilgrims, including women, who have arrived in Jammu city, have been registered so far for the Yatra to the 3,880-metre-high cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas.

Five counters have been set up for Tatkal registration of the devotees. While three counters have been put up at Vaishnavi Dham, Mahajan Sabha, and Panchayat Ghar for registration of the general public, two have been set up at Geeta Bhawan and Ram Mandir for the registration of ‘sadhus’, the officials said.

Dharminder Bhargava, a pilgrim from Madhya Pradesh, standing in the queue for three hours, said he arrived here a week ago and has been waiting for the Amarnath Yatra registration to resume.

“We visited the Mata Vaishnodevi cave shrine during the suspension of Yatra last week. There should have been more counters so that registrations could have been conducted faster,” Bhargava said.

Pilgrims waiting in the queues said the shelter and drinking water facilities at the registration spots were inadequate.

While 1.40 lakh pilgrims have paid obeisance at the Icelingam of Lord Shiva at Amarnath so far this year, over 53,000 devotees in 11 batches have left for the shrine from the Jammu base camp.

The Yatra remained suspended for three days from Saturday to Monday and was resumed on Tuesday from Jammu. In view of the suspension, around 8,000 pilgrims were stranded in Jammu, particularly the Bhagwatinagar base camp.

The 62-day annual pilgrimage to the Amarnath cave shrine began on July 1 and is scheduled to conclude on August 31.


Press Trust of India

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