27 Rescue Teams of the CRPF, NDRF, SDRF and police will be deployed on the two mountain routes during the upcoming Amarnath pilgrimage. These teams will be equipped with all rescue equipment including oxygen cylinders.

On the directions of Governor Satya Pal Malik, Umang Narula, Chief Executive Officer of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), chaired a meeting on Tuesday to review the arrangements to be made for providing rescue facilities in case of any emergent situation during the 46-day pilgrimage that will begin on 1 July.

11 Mountain Rescue Teams (2 more than last year) from the J&K Armed Police will be deployed to help women and sick pilgrims in negotiating difficult stretches on the Yatra routes.

It was informed in the meeting that a total of 12 Avalanche Rescue Teams, viz. 11 teams of the State Disaster Response Force and 1 team of CRPF would be deployed along both the routes. Of these, 7 teams would be deployed along the Pahalgam route at Chandanwari, Pissu Top, Zojibal-Nagakoti; Sheshnag, M.G.Top, Panjtarni, Holy Cave and 05 teams along the Baltal route at Baltal, Domel, Railpatri, Brarimarg and Sangam Top. Besides, 4 Search and Rescue teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are also being deployed at Pahalgam, Chandanwari, Sheshnag, Panjtarni and Baltal. The rescue teams, equipped with necessary supplies, shall be deployed at critical stretches, particularly between Railpathri and Brarimarg, forewarning Yatris about shooting stones and landslides.

It was decided that the effective strength of the rescue teams would be increased from 10 to 15 and SSPs of Ganderbal and Anantnag districts shall fix RD wise jurisdiction of the rescue teams. It was also decided to introduce Common Access Protocol (CAP) in the Yatra area linked with Emergency Operation Centres (EOCs) at Sonamarg and Chandanwari to enable all Yatris and others present in that grid to receive SMSs in case of emergent situations on any network. This would be in addition to Priority Call Routing (PCR) portal which will help to prioritize the calls of officers associated with Disaster Management even if there is congestion in the communication network.

Narula expressed on behalf of the Governor and Chairman of the SASB high appreciation of the valuable contribution made by the Rescue Teams in saving many precious lives during the previous Yatras by providing timely assistance and effecting quick evacuation of pilgrims in distress.

The meeting was attended by VK Birdi, Deputy Inspector General of Police, CKR; Shailendra P Singh, Deputy Inspector General, CRPF; BK Jha, Deputy Inspector General, BSF; Anup Kumar Soni, Additional Chief Executive Officer, SASB; Aamir Ali, Director, Disaster Management, J&K; Col Kulbir Singh, Deputy CDR, HQ, 3SECT RR; Col RR Laddha, CO 8 Kumaon; Col Sanjiv, Deputy CDR, HQ 1 Sector RR, Khalid Jehangir, Deputy Commissioner, Anantnag; Altaf Ahmed Khan, SSP Anantnag; Hashmat Ali, Deputy Commissioner, Ganderbal and Khalil Ahmed Paswal, SSP Ganderbal attended the meeting through video conferencing.