Army commander reviews Amarnath Yatra preparations

Udhampur (J&K), Jun 19 (PTI) Multi-tiered arrangements, including night domination through night-vision devices, snipers, drone systems and dog squads, will be put in place to ensure foolproof security during the upcoming Amarnath Yatra, officials said on Monday.

According to the Army officials, the road stretches on the twin routes of the pilgrimage to the 3,888-metre-high cave shrine are almost clear.

This was revealed during the inspection-cum-review of the yatra arrangements by Northern Army commander Lieutenant Upendra Dwivedi, the officials said.

The 62-day pilgrimage to the cave shrine in the south Kashmir Himalayas is scheduled to start on July 1 and continue till August 31. The Amarnath Yatra takes place annually via two routes — the southern route through Baltal in Ganderbal and the northern route through Pahalgam in Anantnag district.

“Army commanders reviewed the ongoing preparations for the Amarnath Yatra that will commence on July 1 for two months,” PRO, Defence, Udhampur, Lieutenant Colonel Devende Anand said.

The Army commander inspected the arrangements on both the routes of the yatra.

He was briefed on the multi-tiered security arrangements, including night domination through night-vision devices, snipers, drone systems, bomb disposal squads, dog squads, counter-IED equipment, vehicle repair-and-recovery teams to ensure a smooth movement of convoys and synergy with civil agencies, to ensure that the yatra is incident-free, Lieutenant Colonel Anand said.

The Army commander was also shown the arrangements made by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), Indian Air Force and teams from the High Altitude Warfare School.

The Army, in coordination with the civil administration, NGOs and other agencies, is setting up multiple medical detachments with special arrangements for oxygen cylinders and control rooms at various places along the routes for humanitarian aid that will be operational round the clock, he said.

The Army has established helipads at multiple locations for medical emergencies and to cater to other airlift requirements, the PRO added.

The Army has also set up a number of camps for the pilgrims with adequate tentage facilities and special winter clothing arrangements.

Based on the experiences of a cloud burst incident during the yatra in 2022, civil rescue teams and avalanche rescue teams will be deployed on the routes.

“Earth movers will be placed at multiple locations en route for emergencies. A seamless communication network on both the routes has also been operationalised. SFF detachments will be overlooking the security of the people,” the defence PRO said.