To provide telephone connectivity to Amarnath yatris, who remain disconnected with the outer world during the yatra as pre-paid connections don't work in the state, the union telecom department has given permission to private operators, besides BSNL, to provide the interested yatris pre-paid Sim cards with a validity of four days.
Pre-paid connections issued from outside the state don't work in the state. A large number of Amaranth yatris carry pre-paid connections and have to depend on STD booths for making calls.
The arrangement in this regard was materialised after the chairman of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), governor NN Vohra, had taken up the matter with the union communication ministry.
Chief executive officer of the board Navin K Choudhary said such Sim cards would be made available only to the registered yatris at special counters being set up at the Nunwan and Baltal yatra base camps.
These cards will be operative only for four days to cover the pilgrims journey to the shrine from either route, and will automatically deactivate thereafter.
The CEO said the yatris who were interested in obtaining the pre-paid connection must produce the counterfoil of the yatra registration slip as well as proof of identity, address and UID card at the special counters.
The telecom department has also erected special towers at Baltal, Domel, Brarimarg, holy cave, Panjtarni, Sheshnag and Chandanwari to ensure that telecom connectivity is available to the Yatris.
The 55-day yatra starts from June 28. The board has decided to limit yatra to 15,000 yatris per day from both the routes.