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Amarnath yatra dates finalised
Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar | June 17, 2004 22:37 IST
Last Updated: June 18, 2004 14:45 IST
The much-publicized controversy between Governor Lt Gen (Retd) S K Sinha and Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed over the annual Amarnath yatra has finally ended with the Jammu and Kashmir government announcing a one-month schedule.
As head of the Amarnath Shrine Board, the governor had earlier announced that this year's yatra would be extended to two months from the traditional one-month period.
Mufti had opposed the move citing security reasons. Thousands of army, paramilitary and police personnel are assigned to protect the pilgrims.
The last darshan would be on August 31.
The schedule was finalized at a high level meeting attended by top civil and police officers.
An official spokesman in Srinagar said that due to the limited accommodation at
Pahalgam and Baltal, only 3,500 yatris would be allowed to proceed for darshan each day. Of this, 2,700 would take the Pahalgam route and 800 the Baltal one.
Registration would be compulsory and can be done at various branches of Jammu and Kashmir Bank. "This time, 20 per cent of the registration would be done through the Internet using the website of the J&K Bank on an experimental basis."The state government will introduce a helicopter service from Baltal to the holy cave this year. The state civil aviation department was asked to expedite construction of a new helipad at the site.
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