Highway ban lifted, Security arrangements for Amarnath yatra reviewed by the governor

Following a review of the security situation in the State and of the requirement of the government forces’ convoys, the Governor Tuesday decided to lift the remaining restrictions on civilian movement on NH-44 connecting Srinagar to Jammu with effect from May 27, 2019.

An official spokesman said these restrictions had become necessary following the movement of the government forces on an unprecedented scale after the Pulwama attack.

He said the government forces were required both for anti-militancy operations and for smooth conduct of general elections.

In order to facilitate safe and secure movement of the government forces’ convoys, the government had imposed a prohibition on civilian traffic on NH-44 from Baramulla to Udhampur twice a week on Sunday and Wednesday from 4 am to 5 pm.

The official spokesman said elaborate arrangements were, however, made by the local administration to facilitate movement of public during the period of restriction.

Earlier, the restriction on civilian movement between Srinagar and Baramulla on NH-44 was limited to Sunday only from April 22, 2019 and later completely lifted from May 2, 2019.

Restrictions on the Srinagar-Udhampur stretch were limited to just one day from May 13, 2019.

The Governor thanked the people of the State for cooperating with the measures which were necessitated in the larger interest of the State and for the welfare of the people.

Meanwhile, Governor Satya Pal Malik, who is also chairman of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB), chaired a high level meeting at Raj Bhavan here Tuesday to review security arrangements of the 46-days yatra which is scheduled to commence on July 1 from both Baltal and Pahalgam routes.

Governor stressed the need for all concerned agencies to maintain a close watch and effective coordination to ensure the smooth conduct of the forthcoming yatra.

The detailed presentations were made by the security agencies regarding the obtaining and emerging security environment in the State, keeping in view the envisaged objectives of adversary external agencies.

The meeting held extensive discussions with regard to preparedness for meeting any unforeseen situation arising in the yatra area; deployment of ROP for safe movement of yatris; corridor security and area domination especially beyond ROP hours; functioning of the Joint Control Rooms at every yatra Camp; linking up Joint Control Rooms with the MET Department and the District Disaster Management Units; deployment of Mountain Rescue Teams (MRTs) of the State Police along with Rescue Teams of various forces at identified locations on both the Yatra routes; deployment of well equipped Fire Fighting teams at pre-determined points; installation of X-Ray Baggage Scanning units at appropriate locations; Access Control Arrangements at Neelgrath, Panjtarni and Pahalgam helipads; Bar code enumeration points; telecommunication facilities along the yatra routes etc.

The meeting discussed the enforcement of an effective Access Control System at the Baltal and Nunwan Base Camps and at the Domel and Chandanwari Access Control Gates; effective traffic regulation from Lakhanpur Check Post onwards through augmentation of the existing strength of Traffic Police; Air Traffic Control arrangements for the heli-services from the Pahalgam and Baltal to Panjtarni; transit camps arrangements; installation of CCTVs at various Camps and at the Access Control Gates; etc.

Governor directed DGP and the Divisional Administration to ensure rapid and unhindered movement of validly registered Yatris right from the time they enter into the State and travel to the Holy Cave, and to ensure against their facing any avoidable inconvenience. He emphasized that all agencies undertake a thorough review of all required arrangements for promptly dealing with any arising disaster situation and, for this purpose, evolve clear Standard Operating Procedures which would be strictly followed by all the stakeholders, including the District Administration and Security Forces.

Governor also stressed that all security agencies should rectify the deficiencies, if any, observed during previous Yatras and provide fool proof security cover to yatris during their forward & return journey.
Governor directed Director General of Police; Divisional Commissioners of Jammu & Kashmir Divisions; Inspector General of Police of Jammu & Kashmir Divisions to ensure wide publicity of the Advisories relating to safety & security of Yatris, including the cut-off timings through print and electronic media & particularly display these at Railway Station Jammu; Yatri Niwas Bhagwati Nagar Jammu; Lakhanpur Checkpost; the On- spot Registration Counters at Jammu & Srinagar and at Base Camps of Baltal,Nunwan and Panjtarni through Public Address System by the Information Department of respective District Administration.

The meeting was attended by K. Vijay Kumar, Advisor to Governor; B.V.R. Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary, J&K; Lt. Gen. K.J.S. Dhillon, GOC, Hqrs. 15 Corps; Dilbag Singh, Director General of Police, J&K; V.S.K.Kaumudi, Additional DG, CRPF, J&K Zone; Umang Narula, Chief Executive Officer, SASB; Maj. Gen. J. P. Mathew, GOC, Hqrs, Victor Force; Zulfiquar Hasan, IG, CRPF (Ops), Kashmir; Shaleen Kabra, Principal Secretary, Home Department, J&K; Abhinav Kumar, IPS, IG, BSF, Kashmir; Muneer Ahmad Khan, Additional Director General of Police, Security & LO, J&K; Baseer Ahmed Khan, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir; S.P Pani, IPS, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir; Ravi Deep Singh Sahi, IG, CRPF, Srinagar Sector; A.V. Chauhan, IG, CRPF Jammu; Air Commodore V.S. Mahida, Air Officer Commanding, Air Force Station, Srinagar; Anup Kumar Soni, Additional Chief Executive Officer, SASB.