Srinagar, Jul 14: Jammu and Kashmir’s Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha Thursday said that he has requested Surveyor General of India to conduct a Digital Contour Mapping (DCM) of Amarnath Cave Shrine and its adjoining areas so that steps are taken to prevent human losses due to natural calamities.
“I have requested the Surveyor General of India to conduct a Digital Contour Mapping of Amarnath Cave Shrine and its adjoining areas. The survey will recommend steps to be taken for preventing human losses in case of natural calamities at the cave shrine as seen on July 8,” the LG said while speaking to media men at Raj Bhawan here.
He said even though a bund was constructed by the Irrigation and Flood Control Department, it is believed that the casualties in the recent cloud burst at Amarnath Cave Shrine would have been more if there was no bund.
“There is always room for further improvement…,” he said. About the July 8 incident, the LG said that 15 pilgrims lost their lives and 55 were injured of whom all except two have been discharged. “The two are being treated at SKIMS and are also stable,” he said, adding that no pilgrims are missing as reported by a section of the media.
He said as every pilgrim is insured, the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) will provide a cash assistance of Rs 5 lakh to the next of kin (NoKs) of those who lost lives in cloud burst incident at the cave shrine.
The LG said that some people are raising questions about increasing the number of pilgrims to cave shrine but the fact remains that a committee constituted by the Supreme Court two years ago had fixed the number of pilgrims at 7500 from both routes—Chandanwari and Baltal. “The SASB, however, fixed the number of pilgrims for both routes up to 10,000 recently,” he said.
The LG hailed the contribution and efforts by locals while rescuing the pilgrims. “NDRF, SDRF, JKP and other Central forces played a great role in the timely rescue operation after the cloudburst. The rescue operation is over now and no one is missing,” he said. He said that so far 1.5 lakh pilgrims have visited the cave shrine so far and time will tell how far the figure would go.
Asked whether the recent cloud burst has affected any water body, he said as of now there is no information about it. “I have invited some experts to find out whether any water body has got affected due to recent cloud burst,” the LG said.