NEW DELHI: Ahead of the Amarnath pilgrimage in Jammu and Kashmir, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has carried a full review of the security and safety situation in the state. To assess the preparedness and response mechanism of all the stake-holders with natural as well as man-made disasters, the Home Ministry said on Monday.
The mock drills were conducted from June 22 and concluded on Monday at critical areas along the Baltal and Pahalgam-Chandanwari routes. The move has been taken at enhancing the preparedness of the officials of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), district administration and other key government agencies to deal with any disaster during the pilgrimage.
Senior officials from all the important departments such as the SASB, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), Rashtriya Rifles, Central Reserve Police Force, Army, police, health, civil defence, transport, fire and other emergency services attended preparatory meetings and participated in the mock exercises.
The NDMA experts trained the participants on key aspects of disaster management such as the formation of incident response teams, coordination among various participating agencies, evacuation, medical preparedness and trauma counselling, read a statement issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
After the drills, post-exercise analyses were carried out by the NDMA experts in which entire operation was discussed in details and areas that needed improvement were listed out, according to the ministry. The two-month-long annual Amarnath pilgrimage to the 3880-metre high cave shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva in the Himalayas in Jammu and Kashmir will begin from June 28.
A total of 2.60 lakh pilffered prayers at the shrine last year. The Amarnath shrine is situated in a narrow gorge at the farther end of Lidder Valley in South Kashmir. Last year, eight persons were killed when a bus carrying Amarnath pilgrims from Gujarat was attacked by Lashkar-e-Taiba militants near Batingoo in Anantnag district.