This year’s Amarnath yatra expected to be ‘much bigger’ than before: Official

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Srinagar: This year’s annual Amarnath yatra is expected to be “much bigger” than before, with the administration here preparing to welcome about eight lakh pilgrims to the cave shrine in south Kashmir, officials said on Monday.

The arrangements for the yatra, to be held after a gap of two years due to the Covid pandemic, were discussed at a meeting here chaired by Union Information and Broadcasting ministry secretary Apurva Chandra.

Jammu and Kashmir chief secretary Arun Kumar, divisional commissioners of Jammu and Kashmir regions and deputy commissioners, participated also took part in the meeting.

Talking to reporters here, Chandra said during the meeting, it was informed that this year’s Amarnath Yatra is expected to “be much bigger and better than before”.

“Expectations are that this year’s yatra will be twice the size than ever before. They expect about six to eight lakh pilgrims to visit the cave shrine,” the secretary said.

He said the arrangements for the yatra will also be twice the size than previous years.

“Be it the drinking water, lodging, or sanitation, the whole administration is equipped to welcome a large number of pilgrims,” he said.

Chandra said all the arrangements will be done for the security of the pilgrims.

“The nation’s security agencies are on it. The security in Kashmir is good as can be seen by the huge number of tourist arrivals,” he said.

The registration for the annual pilgrimage to the cave shrine of Amarnath commenced across the country on Monday. The yatra could not be held in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2019, the yatra was cut short days before August 5, when the Centre abrogated Article 370.