Co-ordination meet held for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra 2018

A co-ordination meeting for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra 2018 was held at the conference hall of Manan Kendra in Gangtok today. Additional Chief Secretary, SC Gupta, chaired the meeting in the presence of District Collector [East], Kapil Meena, heads of various departments of the State Government and central organizations including BRO, ITBP, NDRF, Customs and Immigration and BSNL.

Chief Executive Officer, Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation [STDC], Suman Thapa, briefly presented the details of the previous yatras conducted by the State Government for the pilgrims since 2015 while STDC General Manager, Vijay Thapa, put forward a note on the preparedness and management of the pilgrimage for this year. Mentioning that there will be a total of 10 batches of pilgrims, he provided a copy of the itinerary.

The first batch will arrive on 15 Jun after clearing their medical examination in New Delhi. They will then be sent on a four days long acclimatization to 15th Mile and Sherathang. On the fifth day, the yatris will have to clear the final medical examination conducted by the ITBP and on approval will head out for the pilgrimage to the Chinese territory. This schedule will be followed by all the ten batches, it is informed.

Additional Chief Secretary, Mr Gupta, stated that it was of utmost importance for the departments and bodies involved to be cautious while maintaining clear communication so that all issues and emergencies can be dealt with promptly and efficiently.

He also enquired about the basic facilities and services in detail including accommodation for acclimatization, power and water supply, transport, health and medical assistance and communication. He further instructed that a WhatsApp group should be created for the exchange of relevant information and details of the pilgrimage.

Secretary, Tourism & Civil Aviation Department, CP Dhakal, spoke about issues faced by pilgrims last year and various solutions and suggestions provided by the department.

Controller of Accounts [FRED], BK Pradhan, explained the management and the breakdown of resources while General Manager, SNT, informed that two new AC buses and two new non-AC buses have been procured for the yatris.

General Manager, BSNL, Deepak Agarwal, informed that phone connectivity was functional and that there will be no hindrance in communication.

The Additional Chief Secretary also raised the importance of print and social media in generating publicity as well as information. Therefore, it is essential to update and upload information on paper and online. For social media, the hashtag #KMY2018 will be used for every tweet/status upload, he added.

District Collector [East], Mr Meena, said that he will extend all help possible in order to make the process for the pilgrimage less time consuming and work in co-ordination with the Superintendent of Police [East], Dr Siva Prasad.

Medical Superintendent, Dr KB Gurung, mentioned that the health sector will work in sync with the Army, Land Revenue & Disaster Management Department and the Home Department in case of medical emergencies or airlifting/evacuation.

The meeting ended with the Additional Chief Secretary reminding and instructing that the primary responsibility lay in the hands of the State departments and organizations involved and that there should be no ambiguity in communication and emergency.