Authorities here on Tuesday decided to increase the holding capacity at the Panthachowk transit camp for Amarnath pilgrims to 6,000 ahead of this year’s pilgrimage. Srinagar Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Aijaz Asad visited the Panthachowk camp to review the progress of work undertaken to augment the accommodation for devotees expected to participate in the annual Shri Amarnath Yatra for this year in Jammu and Kashmir, an official spokesperson said.
He said, Senior Superintendent of Police Rakesh Balwal, Commissioner of Srinagar Municipal Corporation Athar Amir and SSP, Traffic Muzaffar Ahmad accompanied Asad during the visit. The deputy commissioner reviewed the facilities and was apprised that at present, the holding capacity at Panthachowk is of about 2,500 pilgrims.
The deputy commissioner directed the superintending engineer of the Public Works Department to increase the capacity by three to four times, the officials said. Asad earmarked the nearby land for setting up prefabricated accommodation to increase holding capacity to about 6,000 pilgrims. He also directed the authorities to make all necessary arrangements for ensuring water supply at the camp so that pilgrims do not face any problem, they said.
The deputy commissioner asked the Public Health Engineering Department to work out a plan so that use of tankers is minimised and adequate permanent supply of water is made available at the site. For ensuring proper sanitation and adequate arrangements for public convenience facilities at the camp, the commissioner SMC was told to keep sufficient staff at the camp to maintain sanitation and proper cleanliness in and around the transit camp. He was also asked to ensure early operationalisation of public convenience units.
Regarding parking facilities, the SSP traffic briefed the deputy commissioner about the arrangements being made for parking of buses ferrying the pilgrims. Similarly, SSP Srinagar apprised him about the proposed security arrangements being made with regard to expected heavy footfall of pilgrims.