Date: 6/22/2005


A friend recently visited Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gomukh and came back enchanted by these ancient pilgrimage places. But he was pained and by the utter neglect of these centres, the filth and dirt, lack of any decent amenities, no street lights. Such is the condition of our pilgrimage centres. Politicians want votes and Hindus do not bother to punish politicians if their places of pilgrimage are neglected, which the politicians know. http://www.ndtv.com/morenews/showmorestory.asp?slug=Amarnath+pilgrims+upset+with+facilities&id=74856 Amarnath pilgrims disappointed with facilities Nazir Masoodi Wednesday, June 22, 2005 (Baltal ): The go-ahead has been given for the Amarnath pilgrimage to begin after a tussle between the Governor and the Chief Minister over a starting date. The organisers say everything is proceeding as planned now, but the pilgrims were disappointed at the arrangements, at least on the first day of the yatra. "Pilgrims have come here from different parts of the world. But after reaching here, they are facing huge problems. Horses are not available here and we are not getting food to eat and water to drink," said Avinash Gupta, a pilgrim. Claiming credit Both the state government and the shrine board are busy taking credit for arranging pilgrimage facilities, which hasn't gone down too well with many of the pilgrims. They are unhappy at the politics surrounding the pilgrimage for the second year running. "The shrine board has made no arrangements. They are just indulging in politics. Whatever arrangements have been made are due to people who run the community kitchens," said Vijay Kumar Agarwal, a pilgrim. Teething problems Their complaints may just be teething problems for this year's pilgrimage and many expect facilities to smoothen out over the next two months of what is a massive exercise for the militancy-troubled state. The Amarnath yatra has finally started as per the shrine board plan and will run for two months despite a controversy over the duration of yatra. But the yatris say that there are no basic facilities for them and officials are playing politics in the name of yatra. ......................000000000