Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board requests Doordarshan to live telecast the Amarnath Yatra during the pandemic amid discussions of cutting short the yatra duration due to COVID-19 scare. By Tanvi Jain

 

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The Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), which organises the famous Amarnath Yatra every year, has for the first time requested national broadcaster Doordarshan to live telecast the whole yatra including all the pujas and rituals for the devotees.  

The request, if granted, would come as a great relief for devotees amid COVID-19 threat. Moreover, even if it is conducted, the turnout is expected to be much lower than the usual, as the authorities have already advised children below 15 years of age and elderly above 60 years of age to refrain from participating in the yatra this year, and talks over the possibility of the yatra being shortened this year, are also doing the rounds 

 

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Therefore, a live telecast in the current scenario will allow devotees to go on a virtual tour from the comfort and safety of their homes. As per reports, the board has requested the channel to telecast the puja every morning and every evening, which will start from July 5 (Vyasa Poornima) and continue till August 3 (Raksha Bandhan).  

However, earlier reports had suggested of the commencement date being postponed from July 5 to July 21, in order to reduce the duration, for which, the organisers might take a shorter Baltal route instead of the longer Pahalgam route.  

 

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Moreover, while recently reviewing the preparedness for a safe yatra, Jammu Divisional Commissioner directed the health department to make separate arrangements in order to collect a sample of every pilgrim for COVID-19 testing. He also ordered the Jammu Municipal Corporation to ensure proper sanitation and fumigation at Yatri Niwas, and provision of mobile toilets. 

India has so far recorded at least 5,85,792 cases of Coronavirus, out of which 3,47,979 have already recovered (as on July 1, 2020).

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