Efforts on to slow down melting
Govt has invited suggestions from the country's scientists on how to shield the Shivling, reports Rajnish Sharma.india Updated: Apr 18, 2006 04:47 IST
Not just the security of the Amarnath yatris but also the health of the ice Shivling inside the holy cave Government is causing concern to the Government.
Last year, of an estimated 4 lakh people, who visited the Amarnath cave during the 45-day yatra, many could not get a glimpse of the Shivling or at best could get a partial view.
Apparently the increased traffic into the cave had resulted in increased carbon dioxide levels causing the Shivling to melt fast.
This year, encouraged by the reduced threat of militancy, the Union Home Ministry and the J&K Government have decided to increase the duration of the yatra to 60 days. Set to start on June 11, nearly 6 lakh devotees are expected to make the yatra.
In response, the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board, headed by J&K Governor Lt Gen SK Singh, is initiating a major effort to ensure that even the last devotee would see the full Shivling.
The Board has got suggestions from scientists from IITs, Punjab University and State's Department of Science to slow down the melting. Chief among them are applying a chemical to the Shivling or to screen it off with a glass wall. Putting up an air conditioner or a cooling plant were rejected due to technical difficulties.
Sources said Sinha told MHA that some Board members are opposed to applying chemical for fear it may stop melting of the structure completely. According to belief, the Shivling melts naturally by Rakshabandhan.