The chopper services to the cave shrine of Amarnath have become cheaper as compared to last year. For the forthcoming Yatra 2017, the one way passenger fare for the Neelgrath-Panjtarni sector has been fixed at Rs 1,715 per head and that for the Pahalgam-Panjtarni axis will be Rs 2950 per person, Umang Narula, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board said. In 2016, the one way heli-fare for the Neelgrath- Panjtarni route was Rs 2000 and Rs 4300 for the Pahalgam- Panjtarni route. The Pahalgam Sector fare is now Rs 1,350 less than in 2016 there is a reduction of Rs 285 in the Neelgrath sector fare, per passenger one way fare, an official said.
The shrine board finalised the helicopter operations for Yatra 2017, which is scheduled to commence on 29th June, 2017. The CEO said that after following a transparent bidding process, efforts had succeeded in securing significant reduction in the fares, as compared to the previous years. The heli-services have been contracted out to UTair India Pvt Ltd and Global Vectra Helicorp Ltd for the Neelgrath-Panjtarni-Neelgrath sector and Himalayan Heli Services Pvt Ltd for the Pahalgam-Panjtarni-Pahalgam sector. On-line booking facility for purchase of heli tickets by the intending pilgrims shall commence shortly and officials advised the pilgrims not to be misled by unscrupulous elements who try to book tickets by fraudulent means.
The CEO further said that pilgrims who wish to avail helicopter services for their pilgrimage are not required to seek any separate advance registration through the designated bank branches. However, all ‘yatris’ (pilgrims) shall be required to produce a compulsory health certificate issued by authorised doctors and institutes, the CEO said. Narula said that the shrine board has procured an accidental insurance cover of Rs 1 lakh for each registered plgrim and service provider, besides a cover of Rs 30,000 for every registered pony. It may be informed that as per a decision taken by Governor and approved by the shrine board, the board shall bear the entire cost of obtaining the aforesaid group insurance policies. CEO advised the intending pilgrims to come well prepared with adequate woolen clothes.