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Amarnath yatra suspended for second day
June 12, 2006 17:08 IST
With the weather playing fickle and heavy rains washing away a portion of the shorter Baltal route, the annual trek to the holy cave shrine of Amarnath was suspended for the second day on Monday, officials said.
"We have allowed no fresh batch from Jammu to Pahalgam and Baltal base camps of Amarnath shrine in Kashmir Valley on Monday as weather was still bad and the track still closed," they said adding, a portion of the Baltal track has been washed away due to heavy rains in the Brari Marh area.
It would take time to clear the track, they said.
The officials said no journey has been allowed on both the traditional route of Pahalgam and the shorter Baltal track to Amarnath situated at 3,880 metres and enshrining the naturally formed Shiv lingam, in view of bad weather conditions and landslides that have forced the closure of the tracks.
The state works department and police are working to clear the Pahalgam route, but heavy rains and snowfall at the neighbouring Posh Marh and Mahagunus area is making the task difficult, they added.
Helicopter service, introduced by the authorities in 2005, also remained suspended for the second day due to bad weather, sources said.
However, all pilgrims camping at various places along the twin routes to the cave were safe.
The 46-km long track from Pahalgam to Amarnath was closed hours after its commencement on Sunday following landslides at three different places on the Sheshnag-Panjtarni stretch and heavy snowfall in the nearby areas of the cave, including Barari Marg, Mahagunus and Posh Margh.
So far, nearly 2,000 pilgrims have left Jammu for Amarnath since June 10 when the yatra started.