Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], June 6 (ANI): Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri and Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Tuesday performed "puja" for the commencement of construction work for Yatri Niwas and National Disaster Mitigation Centre here.
The facility is being developed at Majeen Jammu under the CSR initiative of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) at a cost of Rs 51 crore.
Speaking on the occasion, Hardeep Singh Puri, who is also Union Petroleum Minister,, said the Yatri Niwas will help in providing accommodation for 30,000 Amarnath shrine pilgrims every year and will be particularly helpful for pilgrims from weaker sections.
Manoj Sinha congratulated the devotees, officials of the Shrine Board, stakeholders and organizations associated with the yatra and the people for the commencement of the construction work of the Yatri Niwas.
The Lt Governor expressed gratitude to the Union Petroleum Minister for approving 4-5 more Yatri Niwas under CSR initiatives for Amarnath devotees.
He lauded senior officials of ONGC for their support in realizing the dream of Yatri Niwas and Disaster Management Centre at Jammu.
The Lt Governor impressed upon the executing agencies and all the workers engaged in the construction work to develop the Yatri Niwas as a centre of spirituality.
"Baba Amarnath's holy pilgrimage is the highest peak of spiritual experience. The construction work of Yatri Niwas should be carried out with complete devotion and a grateful heart," he said, according to a Jammu and Kashmir government release.
Last year, 3.65 lakh pilgrims visited Amarnath shrine. As many as 120 additional bank branches were added last year to facilitate the registration of the pilgrims and this year the registration facility is being provided through 542 branches across the country, Manoj Sinha said. In 2021, the initiative of "online darshan, hawan and Prasad" were made to facilitate devotees. The Yatri Niwas at Chandrakot, which was inaugurated in June last year, accommodated around 50,000 devotees.
The Lt Governor said the work for upgradation of Yatra track has been done on a war footing and resumed after snow clearance in March this year.
"We are making dedicated efforts to strengthen communication connectivity. Telecommunication towers, Cell on Wheels are being installed by the telecom service providers, besides Army is laying an Optical fiber cable from Sonamarg to Holy Cave, he added.
Designed by School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, the Yatri Niwas is set for completion within 18-month time period.
A Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry release said ONGC Disaster Management Centre will play a pivotal role in providing essential amenities such as lodging, sanitation, and safe drinking water. (ANI)