Over 5,700 pilgrims leaves for Amarnath shrine

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Jammu: A fresh batch of more than 5,700 pilgrims left for the Amarnath shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas from here on Wednesday, officials said. More than 74,000 pilgrims have paid obeisance at the 3,880-metre high cave shrine till Tuesday evening and over 2,500 on-the-spot registrations of devotees were done on Tuesday, they said.

The sixth batch of 5,725 pilgrims left in 256 vehicles for the twin basecamps of Baltal and Pahalgam at 3.05 am and were escorted by security vehicles, they said. While 3,211 pilgrims took the 48-km traditional Pahalgam route for their yatra, 2,514 pilgrims chose the shorter but steep 14-km Baltal route, they said.

With this, a total of 31,826 pilgrims have left the Jammu base camp for the valley since June 28 when Lt Governor Manoj Sinha flagged off the first batch. The 52-day yatra formally began on June 29 and will conclude on August 19.

More than 4.5 lakh pilgrims paid obeisance at the cave shrine last year. To monitor all the logistics, weather conditions, and activities, a surveillance system has been set up at Integrated Command and Control Centre (ICCC), where more than 50 officials from various departments have been deputed to provide real-time assistance to the pilgrims, they said.

Besides, a helpline — 01942740003 — has been set up for any exigencies. In addition, two more landlines — 01942496240 and 01942496247 — are also functional, they said.

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