Amid cancellation flip-flop, SASB to take call on Amatnath Yatra next month
Jammu, April 22 : After announcing the cancellation of the annual Amarnath yatra, the officials withdrew the statement within minutes on Wednesday.

Lieutenant Governor, Girish Chandra Murmu, Chairman of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), told GNS that there was still time left before taking the final call on the annual pilgrimage to the holy Amarnath cave shrine. “The final call will be taken in May. The statement (regarding cancellation of the Yatra) was issued due to some mistake and it now stands withdrawn as cancelled,” he said.     

Earlier Lieutenant Governor presided over the 38th Board Meeting held here at the Raj Bhavan.

The Chairman observed that there are 77 Red zones identified in the Kashmir valley from where the Yatra routes pass. Due to this Pandemic, the establishment of Langars, Medical facility, Camp establishment, Material mobilization, Snow clearance etc. are difficult.

He emphasized that though the Government of India extended the nationwide lockdown till 3rd May, it is highly unpredictable to know which direction it will take beyond. “The safety of the Yatris is our prime importance,” he maintained.

The Board, he said, has now decided in view of the pandemic situation prevailing in the world it would be prudent to take a call next month on organizing the Yatra, 2020.

Whatever the outcome of the next review meeting, sources said; the board has decided that the Pratham Pooja and Sampann Pooja will be done with traditional fervour.

In case the pilgrimage is cancelled, the Board has decided that it would explore the possibility of telecasting the Pooja and darshan of Shivlinga online and through other media for millions of devotees worldwide. If the pandemic persists, the Board members expressed that not organizing of Amarnathji Yatra should also set an example for all during the prevailing circumstances of the epidemic to avoid such congregations.

The meeting was attended by D.C. Raina; Prof. Anita Billawaria; Dr. Sudershan Kumar; Dr. C.M. Seth and Prof. Vishwamurti Shastri. Bipul Pathak, Chief Executive Officer; Anup Kumar Soni, Additional Chief Executive Officer; and other senior officers of the Shrine Board also attended the meeting. Swami Avdheshanand Giri Ji Maharaja and Dr Devi Prasad Shetty attended the meeting through video conferencing. (GNS)

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