A 55-day yatra to Amarnath shrine in South Kashmir Himalayas will begin on June 28 this year.
A decision about the yatra date and its duration was taken at an over three hour long meeting of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) which was chaired by Jammu Kashmir Governor, N N Vohra, at New Delhi today. The meeting was attended by the SASB members Sri Sri Ravi Shanker, Dr Kapila Vatsyayan, Justice (retired) G D Sharma, Pandit Bhajan Soporim Vijay Dhar and Dr (Prof) Ved Kumari Ghai, besides its Chief Executive Officer Navin K Choudhary and Additional Chief Executive Officer Preet Pal Singh.
"A comprehensive action plan has been drawn up to implement the recommendations of the State High Powered Committee (SHPC) and the directions of the Supreme Court, said SASBs Chief Executive Officer as the Board members took note of the apex courts last years judgment regarding responsibilities of both the Central and State governments, besides SASB in respect to the arrangements to be made for Amarnath yatras from 2013. The Board members also noted that the Supreme Court, accepting report of the SHPC suggestions for smooth conduct of yatra including upgradation of health facilities, track conditions, infrastructure in yatra area and the steps to preserve the environment, has constituted a sub committee comprising states Chief Secretary and Home Secretary, besides SASB CEO to implement its directions.
Elaborating, he said that the pilgrims this year would have to compulsorily furnish a health certificate while seeking registration for Amarnath yatra this year. The format of the compulsory health certificate has been drawn by a committee of medical experts drawn from the Union Health Ministry and the State Health Department, he said, adding that the pilgrims shall now have to submit information in the form of a self declaration about his/her current health status, past medical history and various ailments from which he/she may be suffering, or may have suffered in the past.
To check against the use of fraudulent health certificates, the compulsory health certificate would be issued only by duly authorized doctors and medical institutes and further the certificates issued after February 1, 2013 would be valid, Choudhary pointed out. In this connection, all the states and union territories have been asked to furnish a list of doctors/medical institutes who would be authorized to issue the compulsory health certificate to eligible pilgrims in their areas.
Regarding the yatra duration and its commencement