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June 10, 2012

Snow clearance work nears completion ahead of Amarnath pilgrimage

Chandanwari (J-K): Workers are toiling to clear snow off the tracks leading up to the Amarnath shrine in Jammu and Kashmir, despite facing freezing temperatures, an unpredictable weather and hilly terrain. Interacting with reporters on Sunday, local authorities said that in spite of incessant snowfall, the route is almost ready for pilgrims. "There is more snowfall this year as compared to last year. It has been very tough to clear the snow and the weather has been very unpredictable. We are trying our best to clear the snow before the pilgrimage," said junior engineer Pahalgam Development Authority (PDA), Firdous Ahmad Mir. He also informed that approximately 500 labourers were deployed to finish the task at the earliest. While clearing the snow off the Chandanwari-Pahalgam track, workers said that the work would be completed within the stipulated time period by June 10. "We are working to clear the snow since May 10.God willing we would be able to complete the clearance work by June 10. We are working very hard as after June 10, the pilgrims will be commencing and people will be flocking this area. It was very tough to clear the snow today as the mountain was covered with thick and dense snow, however we have been trying our best," said Thousands of pilgrims undertake this journey to the cave shrine of Amarnath, where the Shivlinga is made of ice and is located at a snow-capped mountainous peak of the Himalayas . Such is the faith of the devout Hindus that despite hostile and inclement weather, records are broken year after year as far as the number of pilgrims as evident from the number of pilgrims increasing with each passing year. The pilgrimage commences on June 25 and concludes on the Hindu festival of Raksha Bandhan.

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