Srinagar: An aerial survey of the Baltal- Amarnath Holy Cave route does not reveal any road widening or construction work being undertaken by the Jammu and Kashmir government in the ecologically fragile Himalayan region as alleged by hardline Hurriyat Conference.

A group of journalists was flown by the state government in a helicopter on the Balatal-Panjtarni-Holy Cave route for a first-hand account of the condition of the track leading to the 3880-metre high cave, which attracts lakhs of pilgrims from across the country every year.

The aerial survey was facilitated by the state government to counter Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who had claimed that construction material has been dumped along the routes to the Amarnath Cave for creating
permanent facilities, including a motorable road, for the yatries.

There seemed to be no changes in the track from Baltal to the Cave Shrine as was seen before the end of the annual yatra in August this year.

As the helicopter flew low, very close to the track, there was very little human movement noticeable in the area between Baltal and Sangam and none beyond that. The area around the Holy Cave is snow-bound.

Geelani has threatened to launch an agitation if the state government did not shelve its plans, as claimed by the separatist leader, to construct the road.


(Agencies)

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