Jammu's cab operators offer free pick-up and drop-off service for Amarnath pilgrims
Jammu's cab operators offer free pick-up and drop-off service for Amarnath pilgrims || Picture Courtesy: Kashmir
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While Jammu‘s private cab operators have decided to offer free pick-up and drop-off service between the Railway Station and Shri Amarnath Ji Base Camp to the visiting pilgrims, flocks of Sadhus from all over the country have begun arriving at base camps in the winter capital Jammu. The Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) has opened online helicopter booking for pilgrims.

The ancient 48-km Nunwan-Pahalgam route in the Anantnag area and the 14-km shorter but more difficult Baltal route in the Ganderbal region is where the 62-day journey will start on July 1.

Official reports claim that online helicopter reservations have begun for the service’s Srinagar, Baltal, and Pahalgam routes.

However, sources claimed that the Yatra’s price had stayed the same this year. According to sources, about 3 lakh people have registered online for the Yatra, and this year, it’s anticipated that about 5 lakh devotees will visit the cave shrine.

According to other sources, the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board’s (SASB) official website would be used to reserve helicopter tickets.

The service providers for the Baltal route are Global Vectra Helicorp Limited and Arrow Aircraft Private Limited, while Heritage Aviation Pvt Ltd will be in charge of the Pahalgam route.

According to further official sources, M S Pawan Hans Limited operators will provide services from Srinagar to the holy cave.

Jammu Province Tourist Taxi Operator Federation (JPTTOF) and Taxi Union Railway Station decided to provide free pick-up and drop-off service to pilgrims as a first-of-its-kind gesture.

Chairman of the Cab Union, Chairman Inderjeet Sharma, stated that during the 62-day Yatra, taxis are left stationed at the railway station to transport pilgrims from the station and drop them off at Base Camp. According to him, cab drivers excitedly anticipate the Yatra every year because it is one of their major sources of income. They offer free service to show their appreciation to the incoming pilgrims.

For the first time, Jammu cab operators have decided to provide free pick-up and drop-off service for pilgrims between Jammu Tawi Railway Station and Yatri Niwas Bhagwati Nagar, the base Base Camp of the Yatra. “62 days provide an opportunity for our people to take the pilgrims towards the cave shrine through Baltal and Pahalgam routes and make their ends meet,” he said.

According to Sharma, taxi drivers will pick up and drop off pilgrims for a fee. To promote tourism and draw more visitors to Jammu & Kashmir, the administration has also arranged “Jammu Darshan” for the pilgrims. According to reports, 3 lakh pilgrims have registered online for the Yatra thus far.

The process of welcoming the pilgrims is well underway, and the district administrations of each separate district have been instructed to finish making all the necessary preparations by June 20—