A recent meeting attended by the chief executive officer and other officers concerned, and chaired by Jammu and Kashmir governor and Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) chairman NN Vohra, said that time bound steps have been taken to enhance telecom facilities for the devotees during this year's pilgrimage.
All related aspects of telecom facilities were discussed in a recent meeting held at New Delhi under the chairmanship of joint secretary (Kashmir), ministry of home affairs.
Giving further details, SASB CEO Navin K Choudhary said that all pilgrims will get a temporary pre-paid SIM card, which shall be operative for a period of seven days as compared to four days during the 2013 Yatra.
"This pre-paid SIM card facility is extremely valuable for those Yatris who do not possess a BSNL mobile facility," said Choudhary.
The CEO informed that BSNL would issue these pre-paid SIM cards to only the registered pilgrims at special counters which would be set up at the Nunwan and Baltal base camps.
He informed that the pilgrims interested in obtaining the SIM cards would be required to provide a proof of identity, proof of permanent address, and valid registration papers at the counters.
Choudhary said that consequent to chairman Vohra taking up the matter of enhancement of telecom facilities in the Yatra area with the central authorities, the union department of telecommunication (DoT) has agreed to consider allotment of separate funds for creating permanent infrastructure for providing telecom facilities for the future pilgrimages.
The DoT has also advised other service providers like Airtel, Vodafone, Idea etc to pool their resources and explore the feasibility of erecting telecom towers in the Yatra area for the benefit of pilgrims.