Keeping in view safety of pilgrims to the holy cave shrine of Amarnath in the terrorism-infested South Kashmir, Governor Satya Pal Malik on Tuesday reviewed important security related matters in a high level meeting in which top officers of the Army, IAF, BSF, CRPF, police and intelligence agencies were present.

The 46-days long pilgrimage will begin on 1 July.

Governor Malik, who is also chairman of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, reviewed important security related matters from both the Baltal and Pahalgam routes.

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

Extensive discussions were held with regard to preparedness for meeting any unforeseen situation arising along the Yatra area, including deployment of Road Opening Parties (ROPs) for safe movement of pilgrims, corridor security and area domination, especially beyond ROP hours, functioning of the Joint Control Rooms at every Yatra Camp, and linking up Joint Control Rooms with the MET Department and the District Disaster Management Units.

Discussions were also held on deployment of Mountain Rescue Teams (MRTs) of the State Police along with rescue teams of various security forces and well-equipped fire fighting teams at identified locations on both the routes.

Installation of X-Ray baggage scanning units at appropriate locations, access control arrangements at Neelgrath, Panjtarni and Pahalgam helipads, and bar code enumeration points along with telecommunication facilities along the Yatra routes were also discussed.

Governor directed DGP and the Divisional Administration to ensure rapid and unhindered movement of registered pilgrims right from the time they enter the State and travel to the holy cave, and to ensure that they do not face any inconvenience.

In the meeting enforcement of an effective Access Control System at the Baltal and Nunwan Base Camps and at the Domel and Chandanwari Access Control Gates was also discussed.

Air Traffic Control arrangements for the heli-services from the Pahalgam and Baltal to Panjtarni, transit camps arrangements and installation of CCTVs at various Camps and at the Access Control Gates were the other areas that were looked into.

He emphasised that all agencies undertake a thorough review of all required arrangements for promptly dealing with any 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.

The Governor also stressed that all security agencies should rectify the deficiencies, if any, observed during previous Yatras and provide foolproof security cover to pilgrims during their journey.

The meeting was attended by K Vijay Kumar, Advisor to Governor, BVR Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary, J&K, Lt. Gen. KJS Dhillon, GOC, 15 Corps, Dilbag Singh, Director General of Police, J&K, Maj. Gen. JP Mathew, GOC, Victor Force; Zulfiquar Hasan, IG, CRPF (Ops), Kashmir, Abhinav Kumar, IG, BSF, Kashmir, and other senior officers.