Amarnath Yatra: 1.5L bookings in 26 days

NEW DELHI: Amarnath yatra, which was suspended for the past two years due to Covid, appears to have generated much enthusiasm among pilgrims with over 1.5 lakh registrations made for the annual pilgrimage in the first 26 days of opening of bookings. This marks a 249% jump over the total 43,038 bookings received during the corresponding period of 2019, when the yatra was last conducted.
In 2019, 13,298 bookings were received in the first week since start of registration, with the cumulative figure rising to 25,832 in the second week, 34,098 in the third and 43,038 in 26 days. This year, 35,595 pilgrims registered in the first week since the bookings opened on April 11, which grew to 88,014 pilgrims in the second week, around 1.3 lakh by the third week and 1.5 lakh at the end of 26 days. In percentage terms, cumulative yatra bookings were 168% higher as compared to 2019 in the first week, 241% higher by the second week, up 278% by the third week and up 249% till 26 days.
“We are expecting around six lakh yatris this year,” a senior J&K government official told TOI. The Central and the state security establishments are busy chalking out a detailed forces deployment plan along the yatra routes. Among the
new initiatives this year are radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and insurance cover for all the pilgrims. Even the ponies which carry the pilgrims to the holy cave will be insured. The ‘mandatory’ RFID tags will help track the movements and location of each pilgrim from the integrated control room being set up in Srinagar.