The Amarnath yatra this year will be of 55-day duration and start from June 28. The yatra will conclude on Raksha Bandhan (August 21).
The Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) had also said mandatory health certificates would only be issued by doctors or institutes selected or
nominated by respective state governments. The names of such doctors and institute would be uploaded on the website of the board, www.shriamarnathjishrine.com
This decision was taken in a meeting of the board chaired by governor NN Vohra, who is also the chairman of the Board, in New Delhi.
The board had come under severe criticism last year in the wake of the death of about 100 yatris. The Supreme Court, taking suo motto cognisance of the deaths, had also issued notice to the government to make plan for this year with regard to the safety of the yatris.
On the directions of the apex court, the state government had set up a special high powered committee.
The court had on December 13 in its judgment stated responsibilities of the Centre and the state government. One of the recommendations of the apex court had been widening of the track and making it smooth for pilgrims.
The separatists had suspected that the state government would be making permanent roads and tried to rake up tension in the Kashmir valley again but this move was thwarted by the chief minster after he publicly asked separartists, including hardliner Sayed Ali Shah Geelani, to have a helicopter trip and get the firsthand knowledge of the work on tracks.
SASB chief executive officer Navin Chowdhary said the yatris would have to furnish a compulsory health certificate while seeking registration for the yatra.
He stated that a committee of medical experts drawn from the union health ministry and the state health department had designed the format of the compulsory health certificate and the yatri will now be required to submit information in the form of a self-declaration about his/her current health status, past medical history and various ailments from which he/she may be suffering or may have suffered in the past.
He further informed that for ensuring against the use of fraudulent health certificates, the compulsory health certificate would be issued only by duly authorised doctors and medical institutes and further the certificates issued after February 1 would be valid.
The board directed Chowdhary to issue very clear advisories, from time to time, to inform every intending yatri about the requirement of obtaining the prescribed compulsory health certificate from the authorised doctors/medical institutes.