On the 30th day, 7,000 people take part in the Amarnath Yatra
Nadia Farooq

In Srinagar, a powerful Weather Doppler Radar is being set up at Banihal top, and other high-tech equipment is being installed at different spots along the paths to the cave shrine to ensure that Amarnath yatris have no weather-related difficulties.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) would issue periodic weather advisories for the convenience of the yatris.


Heavy rains often halt the annual Amarnath Yatra since the yatris cannot go to the cave shrine in the pouring rain.
A top official from the IMD assured Greater Kashmir that the new, more powerful Weather Doppler Radar being erected at Banihal Top will be fully operational in time for the beginning of the yatra.

He said the radar will monitor the weather throughout all of Kashmir, including the whole Pir Panchal range.

The senior IMD officer said, “That will cover whole yatra areas.”

He stated that preparations were being made to use a state-of-the-art meteorological system for the yearly yatra, which begins on July 1.

He said that every year during the yatra time, new equipment is being placed in addition to the Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) already in place at Chandanwari, Sheshnag, Panjtarni, the Amarnath cave shrine, and Baltal.

In addition, IMD has planned to notify the officials of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) in advance in the event of extreme weather, allowing them to make prompt choices to halt the passage of yatris if required.

The IMD would update the yatris first thing in the morning, at 4, and in the event of unusual weather, the SASB and other authorities engaged in the yatra’s organisation would be notified three hours in advance.

“Early in the morning, weather related SMS would be circulated among all officers involved in the yatra arrangements, informing them about sector-wise weather forecasts,” the IMD officer said. All yatris will be monitored by these authorities to make sure they go on the pilgrimage when the weather is suitable.

Every year, during the months of July and August, the Amarnath Yatra draws tens of thousands of pilgrims to the holy cave of Amarnath.

The holy cave of Amarnath is located almost 10,000 feet above sea level.

For hydro-meteorological reasons, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) recommends one weather station per 100 square kilometres in topographically complicated alpine areas like the Himalayas.

On July 8, 2016, fifteen yatris were killed when a flash flood was precipitated by heavy rains near the cave shrine.

Rescue efforts continued for six days after the sudden floods swept away a few tents and communal cooking stalls near the cave shrine and left roughly 55 people wounded.



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