Srinagar: As the government is expecting a record breaking Amarnath yatra this year, they have started preparations for its smooth conduct. In this direction, recently Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla presided over a high-level security meeting in Kashmir in which top intelligence officers also participated.
The Union Government has decided to send additional paramilitary companies to make the 43-day long Amarnath yatra incident free as it is slated to start from 30 June this year. After a series of high-level meetings, the government has decided to install hundreds of CCTVs, and provide radio frequency identification (RFID) tags to secure the Amarnath yatra vehicles after they enter Jammu and Kashmir. In the high security arrangements, the government has decided to provide multi-tier security cover by getting 300 additional companies of paramilitary forces to Kashmir.
These companies would be stationed in Kashmir, especially on the highways from Jammu and Srinagar and from Srinagar to Ladakh highway, so that the vehicles carrying the pilgrims reach safely to the twin routes of Pahalgam and Sonmarg.
Radio frequency identification (RFID) chips would not only be fitted in the vehicles, but the security grid has proposed that each pilgrim should be provided with micro chips so that each pilgrim is monitored from the control rooms to be set up for this purpose. In order to provide complete security blanket for the current Amarnath yatra which will be undertaken after a few years’ gap due to pandemic and 5 August 2019 incidents, security forces would be deployed not only on the highways, but also in the sensitive villages all along the highway along with Quick Reaction Teams of police and CRPF; besides this there would be scores of Mobile Vehicle Check Posts (MVCPs) and the entire route of yatra would be monitored by drones and CCTV vehicles on the ground.
Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB), the managing body, has recently said that there would be at least 400 CCTV installed at all the sensitive areas of yatra, especially the base camps of Chandanwadi in Pahalgam and at Baltal route of Sonmarg. All these elaborate security arrangements are being undertaken as the government expects not less than 8 lakh Amarnath pilgrims visiting Kashmir this year. Right from the winter months, there has been an unprecedented tourist rush to Kashmir valley with spring season already showing record breaking tourist footfall in Kashmir valley.