5 more Amarnath pilgrims die, toll rises to 47 | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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5 more Amarnath pilgrims die, toll rises to 47

chandigarh Updated: Jul 09, 2012 11:44 IST
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Five more pilgrims on their way to the Amarnath shrine died on Sunday, taking the toll to 47.

Meanwhile, taking a serious note of the rising death toll, Governor NN Vohra has called a meeting in Srinagar on July 9 to devise ways to check the death toll.

Giving details, officials said Pawan Kumar, 32, a resident of Delhi, died of cardiac arrest at Brarimarg on the Baltal route. 40 yr-old Rukmini, hailing from Maharashtra, died following a heart attack at Panjtarni on the Pahalgam route, they said.

Narayan Appaji, 42, a resident of Mumbai, died of cardiac arrest outside the cave shrine, officials said, adding that 60-year-old Dileep Singh of Gujarat breathed his last at Brarimarg.

A man died on the Pahalgam route and efforts were on to ascertain his identity, they said.

Officials said that the number of pilgrims paying obeisance at the 3,880-metre-high cave shrine in south Kashmir crossed the 3-lakh mark on Sunday. The annual pilgrimage commenced on June 25 from the twin routes of Baltal and Pahalgam.

According to sources, the meeting convened by the Governor will be attended by health minister Sham Lal Sharma, health secretary MK Dwivedi, Kashmir division health director Dr Salim-ur-Rehman, and Board CEO Navin K Choudhary.

There has been a consistent rise in the death toll of pilgrims in the past three years. In 2009, the death toll was 45; in 2010 it reached 68, and last year, it touched 105.

This year, the Board has made carrying the medical certificate mandatory for the pilgrims. The certificate duly signed by a doctor has to be submitted along with the application form. However, all this has failed to have the desired results.

According to doctors, one of the main reasons for cardiac arrest among people is that those coming from the plains are not acclimatised to the high-altitude terrain. Besides, pilgrims seldom adhere to the warnings and guidelines issued by the board.