Jammu Tawi, April 12: The government is preparing accommodation for a huge rush of pilgrims to visit the Amarante Cave Temple in Kashmir this year.
Yatris visits the shrine through Pahalgam in South Kashmir and Baltal in Sonamarg.
Officials said most pilgrims are staying in makeshift accommodation and given the expected influx of pilgrims, 10-15% of accommodation is increased and all services including service providers and shelters are closed. increased by 15%.
The rush of pilgrims, officials said, would not affect the occupancy of hotels and guesthouses, as the Yatris are staying in makeshift accommodation.
Pilgrims are taken from one base camp to another, so extra capacity arrangements are made at these base camps, they added.
As of now, the registration process has started and arrangements for arranging accommodation will be taken after the registration process is completed. This will give the exact number of Yatris visiting the cave shrine, they said.
Hoteliers, guest house owners as well as people tending the tents said they were waiting for the Yatra to start.
Chairman of Pahalgam Hotel and Restaurant Owners Association (PHROA), Javaid Ahmad said that they can accommodate tourists and yatris depending on the capacity of their hotels and guesthouses and that the government could also help manage accommodation.
Shahzad Rasool, a hotelier from Sonamarg agrees with Ahmad saying that it does not matter to host eight tourists or lakh yatris if the government apparatus supports them.
He listed water, electricity and sanitation among the things the government should provide around the clock for the smooth running of the yatra..