Govt readying to increase accommodation for Yatra in the face of expected rush

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Srinagar, Apr 12 : The government is readying accommodation for a huge rush of pilgrims to visit Amaranth cave temple in south Kashmir this year.

Yatris visit the shrine through Pahalgam in south Kashmir and Baltal in Sonamarg.

Officials told news agency, that most of the pilgrims are staying in makeshift accommodations and in view of the expected rush of pilgrims, 10-15 percent accommodations are being increased and all services including service providers and shelter shed are being increased by 15 percent.

The rush of pilgrims, according to officials, would not affect occupancy of hotels and guest houses as Yatris stay in makeshift accommodations.

Pilgrims are taken from one base camp to another so the additional capacity arrangements are being made at these base camps, they added.

As of now the registration process has started and steps for arrangements of accommodations will be taken after the registration process will conclude. That will give the exact number of Yatris visiting the cave shrine, they said.

Hoteliers, guest house owners besides people dealing with tents told KNO that they are waiting for the Yatra to commence.

President Pahalgam Hotel and Restaurant Owners’ Association (PHROA) Javaid Ahmad said that they can accommodate tourists and yatris as per the capacity of their hotels and guest houses and the government too can help in managing accommodation.

Shahzad Rasool, a hotelier from Sonamarg concurs with Ahmad saying it is not a big deal to accommodate eight lakh tourists or yatris if government machinery will be supportive to them.

He listed water, power and sanitation among the things which the government should provide round the clock for smooth conduct of the yatra—(KNO)