Expressing concern over the high number of deaths of Amarnath pilgrims, senior member of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board Ved Ghai has said that chief minister Omar Abdullah should have taken extra care in providing logistics to the pilgrims.
"Being the head of the state, the chief minister should have taken proper care of the pilgrimage. He should have ensured that proper logistics are provided for safe pilgrimage," Ghai told HT.
A noted literary figure, Ved Ghai is one of the members of the board headed by governor NN Vohra.
A total of 86 pilgrims have died since the start of yatra on June 25. Taking suo motu cognisance of the pilgrim deaths, the Supreme Court had issued a notice to the state government to explain the cause of high casualty rate.
On being asked wasn't it the responsibility of board to ensure proper medical facility in place, Ghai said the job of board was only to formulate policies, the implementation was the responsibility of the state administration. "The board members meet twice a year to chalk out modalities for the yatra. The government execute them to ensure that the yatra is hassle-free," she said.
Ghai said the sub-committee appointed by the board, which had suggested 39-day yatra duration, had also asked for better medical facilities there. "Para eight of the report had strongly and categorically asked for putting in place a strong healthcare system," she added.
Ghai, however, said that yatris should first acclimatise themselves properly before proceeding on the yatra, especially those taking the shorter Baltal route.