have observed in the past that Potable water is not being
sufficiently provided by the State Government to the yatris and
Langar Organisations. Last year, we tried to provide
filtered water to the yatris and for this purpose we
purchased Eureka Forbes Aqua Guard Filters, but unfortunately
they did not work properly due to the
blockage due to small stones which came along
with water. We therefore suggest that
spring water (potable) from higher reaches should be provided
to each Langar organisation as well Yatris en route yatra and
SUBSIDISED BUS FARE
bus fares should be charged from yatris traveling from
Jammu to Pahalgam/Chandanwari
& Jammu to Srinagar/Sonamarg/Baltal.
We have observed in the past that Taxi Fares/Bus Fares/Ponies
charges - Pithoo (Labourer) were being fixed
on very higher side but practically those yatris
who bargained, pay much lesser rates and those who did not
bargain were made to pay higher charges.
TOILETS & BATHROOMS
have observed in the past that there is no proper arrangement being made
for clean and separate toilets for Ladies and Gents.
We have experienced that pits are dug
and plastic sheet partitions are made
but the front side is remains open.
Moreover, neither the pits are cleaned nor anything is sprayed
or put on to avoid foul smell. Also the Govt. has never
made any provision of bathrooms. We suggest that clean and
separate toilets for ladies and gents and in adequate numbers with
solid partitions and also neat & clean bathrooms
at least for lady yatris should be provided to
yatris at Base Camps & en route Holy Cave. Last year, although
the toilets were under construction, but the construction
work was not completed till the last date of darshan
because the construction work was started late. We request
that this time the toilets and bathrooms should be made ready
before the commencemence of yatra, 2003.
RESTRICTION OF PILGRIMS
have noted in the past that J&K Government has fixed
the number of pilgrims and in an effort to ensure that
the total number of yatris does not exceed
the fixed number. The J&K Tourism department/J&K
Govt. resort to illegal, un-democratic & unjustified
measures on the plea of
SEN Committee recommendations.
This results in unnecessary mental/physical harassment
of the devotees and their religious sentiments also get hurt
in the process. We kindly request your good self that
there should be no restriction on the number of pilgrims
instead Government should make adequate arrangements
for the yatra of any number of pilgrims. Ours is a democratic
country with the population of more than 100 crores and every citizen of
India has constitutional right to perform the yatra of his/her
religion. In case, following of un-restricted number of
yatris is impossible, the number fixed per day should be increased in a
phased manner. We suggest that this year the number of
yatris per day should be increased to 6500 i.e. 4500
from Pahalgam - Chandanwari and 2000 from Baltal.
Next year, the number should be raised to
7500 and so on. We further suggest
that registration procedure should be done away with finally, may
be at a later stage and yatra slip system should be adopted
as is being done at Shri Mata Vaishnoo Devi yatra.
ON THE SPOT/CURRENT REGISTRATION OF PILGRIMS
have come to know that on the spot/current registration has
been disallowed this year. We suggest that
this decision should be withdrawn and on the
spot/current registration of pilgrims must
be done, as it is far more convenient for the pilgrims
to Performa the yatra after on the
spot/current registration, whereas it becomes very difficult for
the pilgrims to first go to
the registration centre for obtaining
registration slip and then returning back to his place of
his residence and then again going to perform yatra. For example
a person from Simla/Manali/Chandigarh/Rajpura wants to
perform yatra. First of all he will have
to go to Jammu to obtain registration slip
and then come back to his place of
his residence i.e. Simla/Manali/Chandigarh/Rajpura and then again
he will have to go to Jammu to perform yatra. Is this
fair? We hope that you must agree with our genuine request
and will allow on the spot/current registration for pilgrims.
PONIES & COOLIES
arrangements of ponies & coolies should be made and
reasonable rates should be fixed to ensure smooth performing of
yatra by the pilgrims.
INCREASE IN STD/PCO'S & COMPUTERISED BILLING
are extremely thankful to the J&K Government for
opening STD/PCO'S en route Amarnath Yatra, but we have
observed that there is plenty of rush on the PCO'S and the
yatris have to wait for hours in queue to make
the calls. We kindly request to increase the number of
PCO'S at each halt to at least 10 PCOs to facilitate
the pilgrims to remain in contact with their family members.
Moreover, computerized billing of calls must be made
compulsory so as to ensure that yatris are not over charged.
PROVISION OF TELEPHONE CONNECTION
request you to provide temporary telephone connections
to Langar Organisations, so as to enable them to remain in regular
contact with their base camps.
have experienced in the past that the medical facilities
provided were insufficient and there was lack of proper medical
equipments. Therefore, it is kindly requested that
adequate medical facilities be provided along with qualified
doctors at base camps & en route yatra so that
any type of casualty can be avoided.
PROVISION OF LADY DOCTORS FOR FEMALE YATRIS
have observed in past so many years that no provision of Lady Doctors
has ever been made for the female yatris.
It is pertinent to mention here that about 40%
yatris are female. Therefore, it is necessary to
depute Lady Doctors in all the medical camps arranged
by the J & K Government.
REPRESENTATION TO NGOS IN SASB
is a matter of joy that SASB has been constituted and
our long pending demand has been accepted,
but we have been requesting that representation
should be given to NGOs in the SASB, so as
to enable them to solve the problems being faced by the
pilgrims as well as NGOs as the NGOs are
aware of the problems at the grass root level.
We suggest that at least 5 members should be nominated
on the SASB from the different NGOs after ascertaining the credential
of the NGOs.
PROVISION OF ELECTRICAL SUPPLY
have observed in the past that there is no provision
of Electricity/Power supply en route yatra and yatris have
to face lot of inconvenience due to non-availability of
power supply. Moreover, the Langar
Organisations have to make their own arrangements
for the generation of Electricity/Power supply, which
is quite difficult on this tough terrain, as in case of
break down in the Gensets there is no availability of Mechanic
and Spare Parts. Anyhow, we are thankful to the J&K Govt.
and SASB for assuring to provide Mechanics en route yatra at
nominal charge. We further suggest that this basic and very
essential requirement should be fulfilled by the J&K Government.
PROVISION OF HELICOPTER FACILITY
have come to know through press that in
2000 the J&K Government had decided to introduce
Helicopter service to aged, physically handicapped and
sick pilgrims for visiting Vaishno Devi Temple and we
request you to provide similar service for Amarnath yatris.
AGENDA & MINUTES OF MEETINGS BEING CONDUCTED
BY THE JAMMU & KASHMIR TOURISM & SASB WITH
have observed in the past that the meetings with the Langar
Organisations are called by the State Govt. at a
very short notice and that too without any agenda. In order
to make these meetings fruitful, we suggest that
the intimation of these meetings should be
given sufficiently in advance along with agenda
and on the spot decisions should be taken. Minutes of the meeting
should be recorded and circulated
to Langar Organisations within a reasonable time frame.
Last year no such meeting was held by the J&K Govt.
with the NGOs' engaged in organising langars.
Only one such meeting was held and that too with a person who does
not organise any langar anywhere and has created a self
styled body which is non representative in
character. We suggest that whenever such meeting(s) are
held, each and every NGO should be invited. The
meetings with the NGOS' should be held in the month
of the January/February every year i.e. before holding the
meetings of J&K Govt./SASB and the views of the NGOS'
should be considered in the meetings of the J&K Govt. and
SASB. Moreover, NGOS' should also be invited in the
meetings of J&K Govt. & SASB, so as to provide them (NGOS)
the opportunity to present their views.
AVAILABILITY OF RATION & FUEL MATERIAL
have observed in the past that ration and fuel material being supplied
by the Food & Supplies department
of the State Government to the yatris and Langar Organisations
are inadequate & short in supply.
We suggest that adequate arrangements should
be made for the supply of Ration & Fuel material
for yatris and Langar Organisations.
WIDENING AND CONSTRUCTION OF PUCCA ROAD ON YATRA ROUTE
FROM BALTAL / CHANDANWARI TO
are of the considered opinion that the Yatra route
from Baltal/Chandanwari to Holy Cave is too NARROW and MUDDY. Keeping
in view the increasing number of yatris every year - we suggest that
the above stated routes should be widened
enough and concrete road should be constructed on the pattern
of SHRI MATA VAISHNO DEVI ROUTE - so as to avoid any
loss of life of the yatris.
FENCING OF YATRA ROUTE
order to avoid any mishap during the yatra, we suggest the entire
yatra route i.e. from Chandanwari & Baltal to Holy Cave
should be properly fenced with concrete/stone
and steel railings/grills/pipes. In
case fencing of entire route is not possible immediately this
year, at least those portions where the track is narrow
& slippery - must be fenced before
the commencement of yatra this year (2002).
CONSTRUCTION OF METALED ROADS FROM RANGA TO BALTAL & PAHALGAM
have observed in the past that the roads from Ranga to Baltal and Pahalgam
to Chandanwari are NARROW and MUDDY. As and when it rains -
which normally happens during the yatra days - these
NARROW and MUDDY roads become slippery and it
becomes very difficult, sometimes rather impossible
for the vehicles and yatris to move on these
roads. We strongly suggest that these roads should be
widened and metaled well before the commencement
CONSTRUCTION OF METALED ROADS FROM ANANTNAG TO PAHALGAM
& SRINAGAR TO RANGA VIA SONAMARG
have observed in the past that the condition of roads from
Anantnag to Pahalgam and Srinagar to Ranga via Sonamarg remain
in bad condition at the time of yatra. It is very dangerous and
risky for the yatris and vehicles to move
on these roads. Sometimes, the repair/black
topping work is being done during the Yatra period.
It creates traffic problem and takes lot of time
to reach the destination. We
suggest that the construction/black topping
work of these roads must be completed well before the commencement
CHARGING OF TOLL TAX FROM THE YATRA & LANGAR VEHICLES
Excise & Taxation Department of the J&K Govt. is charging
Toll Tax at different places from yatris who are traveling
in their own conveyance and the vehicles carrying langar material,
which is uncalled for. This should be done away with
and no Toll Tax should be charged from yatra & langar
vehicles at any station/barrier.
HARASSMENT OF LANGAR VEHICLES AT LAKHANPUR BORDER
staff of the Excise & Taxation Deptt. at Lakhanpur Border
unnecessarily harass the vehicles carrying langar material
on one pretext or the other even when they are
having requisite permission. This harassment is being done
to exhort extra money apart from the Toll Tax from
the langar vehicles. In this regard,
we were assured during the meeting held on 21.05.2001
that matter shall be taken up with the concerned
deptt. and there will be no harassment
in the future. We once again request
to take up the matter with the Excise & Taxation Deptt.
and it must be ensured that no vehicle carrying langar material
number of innocent pilgrims & other people were brutally massacred
by extremists at Pahalgam on 1st August, 2000 and last year also
one such incident took place at Sheshnag. These type
of incidents had exposed the loop-holes
in the security arrangements made by
the J&K government. We demand that fool proof
security arrangements should be made and it
must be ensured that such type of incidents do not occur in
LATHI CHARGE ON PILGRIMS
is a matter of great concern that yatris who were waiting for completing
the registration formalities were lathi charged by the
J&K Police at Registration Centers, Tourist Centre, Jammu
during Shri Amarnath Yatra 2000 & 2001. This situation occurred
due to inefficiency & inadequate arrangement of J&K Govt.
It is suggested that appropriate arrangements should be made to avoid
re-occurrence of such type of ugly incidents.
OPENING OF SAMBA-MANSAR-UDHAMPUR ROAD FOR YATRA &
the past yatra and langar vehicles were not being allowed to
reach Udhampur via above route in spite of the fact that
this route is shorter by more than 50 Kms. We
suggest that this route should
be opened for yatra as well as langar vehicles as on the one
hand this will enable the yatris & langar vehicles to reach Udhampur
early and on the other hand the unnecessary heavy
traffic at Jammu shall be avoided.
SHIFTING OF BASE CAMP FROM NAGROTA TO UDHAMPUR
in view the above para, we suggest that base camp of
Nagrota should be shifted to Udhampur as Udhampur is the common
place for yatris - whether they go from Jammu side
or from Samba/Mansar/Udhampur road.
SHIFTING OF BASE CAMP FROM PAHALGAM TO NUNWAN
have been informed that base camp of Pahalgam
has been shifted to Nunwan due to security reasons.
In this regard, we have to state that we have no objection in the
shifting of above base camp. We suggest that even if this site is
un-secured, the base camp may be shifted to some other place keeping
in view the security aspects, but it must be ensured that Bus/Car
Stand is situated very near to the langar sites,
so that the yatris are not forced to cover a long distance
on foot and there is a fool proof security arrangements.
TRANSPORTATION OF LANGAR MATERIALS
should allow Langar organisations to take
their materials to site of langar without any interruption.
We have experienced in the past that langar organisations
find it very difficult to carry their langar material to higher
altitude near Holy Cave or Panchtarni. Therefore,
we kindly request that langar materials
should be transported by the Government
helicopters at a subsidized or nominal transportation charges.
HARASSMENT OF NGOS BY SH. PARBHAT SINGH SUPDT.OF POLICE (YATRA) J &
a heavy heart, we would like to bring to your kind notice that
Mr. Parbhat Singh, Superintendent of Police (Yatra), who reached
Panchtarni along with Chharri Mubarak on 03.08.2001 came to
our bhandara in a heavily drunkard condition (under
the influence of liquor) on 04.08.2001 at
about 10.30PM and committed the following
atrocities and that too without any provocation
and reasoning :-
straight away tried to pull down the office tent
of the bhandara, where the trust President, Rajan
Gupta and Bhandara In charge, Mr. Ramesh Bhatia
were sitting. He abused and used very vulgar &
filthy language. He pushed and manhandled President & Bhandara
In charge. He threatened of dire consequences to the office
bearers of our organisation. He also went to another Bhandara
namely Om Shiv Shakti Sewa Mandal (Regd.) of Cheeka & Delhi
and abused & manhandled the office bearers of the
said bhandara. He snatched and threw away the food
plates from sewadars & yatris, who were having their
dinner. He continued his rampage and pulled down the
tent of J&K Fire Service adjoining our bhandara. All this was
done in the presence of 7 Jawans & 1 Inspector of the CRPF,
who were deputed by the Commandant of the CRPF,Mr. Daya
Ram for the security of the Office bearers, Sewadars
of both the bhandaras and yatris. Apart from the above, the Sub Inspector
and Asstt. Sub Inspector along with few Jawans of the J&K
Police were also present at the time of incident. As this was
not enough to satisfy his ego, he again manhandled the office
bearers of our organisation and lathi charged the sewadars
in the presence of Mr. Karamjit Singh - Yatra Officer in
the morning of 05.08.2001 when the sewadars of
both of the bhandaras were raising peaceful protest in
a democratic manner. In nutshell, he behaved in such a manner as
he was dealing with criminals or militants totally ignoring
the fact that we the sewadars of Yatries
of Almighty Lord Bhole Nath, who have left our
homes for about 40 days and that too without any financial consideration.
He created such a terror that no one could sleep for whole of night.
It was in fact a frightful night. He was not ready
to listen to anyone despite repeated requests by the Office
Bearers and Sewadars of both the bhandaras. He grossly
misused his official position. Mr. Karamjit Singh-Yatra Officer,
in whose presence Mr. Parbhat Singh, S.P. (Yatra) has misbehaved
and lathi charged on 05.08.2001, apologized and assured to report
the matter to the higher authorities and also assured sternest
possible action against Mr. Parbhat Singh,
will not be out of place to mention here that our above said two
bhandaras were the only ones, which were present in the whole of the Panchtarni
for providing the boarding & lodging facilities to
the yatris up to the last moment, as all the other bhandaras
and even private tents (Camping Agencies) had left
Panchtarni much earlier. We would also like to add here that
there was no reason at all for provocation. All
the para-military, Military forces, Officers of the J&K
Police and other officials of the Govt. departments
posted at Panchtarni are aware of
this incident. This type of misbehavior and that
too from the rank of Superintendent of Police is
un-expected, un-desirable, un-justified and un-called for and
that too in a drunkard position, at duty and that too at a Holy place
where consumption of liquor is banned both morally and
legally. We suggest that sternest possible
action must be taken against the said official
and necessary directions may kindly be issued so as to ensure
that such type of incidents does not occur in future.
BHOLE BHANDARI CHARITABLE TRUST (REGD.)
RAJAN GUPTA )