Amarnath yatra: over 1.30 lakh pilgrims registered

"Over 1,34,174 pilgrims have secured yatra permit as registered pilgrims through Internet based e-registration and at bank registration counters across the country till today, the eleventh day of registration," vice-president and nodal officer of registration at J&K Bank Abdul Hamid said.

He said 70,565 pilgrims have opted to undertake the pilgrimage through the traditional Pahalgam route via south Kashmir while over 63,610 have opted for the Baltal route via central Kashmir.

Of these, 1,07,544 pilgrims have been registered through 149 registration counters at various banks and 26,630 registered through the Internet, Hamid said.

The Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) began the registration process on May 10 for the yatra which will commence simultaneously from both routes on June 29 and culminate on August 13.

"Registration counters have been set up at 121 designated branches of the J&K Bank, 24 of the YES Bank and four of the District Cooperative Banks," an SASB spokesman said.

"Registration is going on smoothly and there is no problem to people undertaking registration at various counters across the country. A registration fee of Rs 15 is charged from each person," he said.

The Shrine Board has this year curtailed the period of the annual pilgrimage by 15 days. Traditionally, the yatra goes on for two months beginning June 15.

Opposing curtailment of the yatra, the Baba Amarnath Yatri Niyas (BAYN), an amalgam of around 30 religious, social and trade organisations, has vowed to commence the pilgrimage on June 15. The VHP has also threatened to start the yatra on June 15.

The SASB has defended its decision saying the step was taken to ensure safe and smooth conduct of the arduous pilgrimage.

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