Inclement weather plays spoilsport for Amarnath pilgrims again

Yatra suspended as heavy rains and landslides throw up challenges

JAMMU:

Multiple landslides on Pahalgam route for Amarnath Yatra triggered by heavy rains and inclement weather have forced authorities to suspend the annual pilgrimage.

Saturday saw incessant rains across Jammu and Kashmir. No vehicle carrying pilgrims was allowed to move towards the Valley from the Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in Jammu.

“Yatra continues to remain suspended as both the Baltal and Pahalgam base camps were lashed by heavy rains during the last two days,” officials said.

This comes a day after the yatra was suspended from the Baltal route because of similar weather conditions. A flood alert has been sounded after Jhelum river flowed above the critical 21-feet mark at Sangam in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Friday.

Schools in Kashmir division also remained closed today as a precautionary measure. The authorities added that all Yatris were safely lodged inside the two base camps.

“Due to slippery trek routes and bad weather, no Amarnath Yatri was allowed to move towards the Cave Shrine from either base camp.” The officials said that the situation will be reviewed once the weather improves.

Sonam Lotus, Director of the MET department, said the weather is expected to improve in the afternoon. Reports said that the third batch of pilgrims who began their yatra from Bhagwati Nagar base camp and undertook the journey via Pahalgam route was stopped at the Tikri base camp,

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