Srinagar, July 10: Exhibiting a special and important role in helping the pilgrim seek blessings of Lord Shiva in the Amarnath Yatra, the Mountain Rescue Team (MRT) has done an amazing work. Appreciating their role, Governor Satya Pal Malik, commended the Mountain Rescue Teams (MRTs) while facilitating Yatris enroute the Holy Cave of Amarnath. He mentioned that MRTs face life-threatening challenges in the snowbound & high-altitude tracks of the mighty Himalayas and save many lives.
In an official statement, the governor stated, “Before the Yatra starts they (MRT) establish their camps in the most difficult terrain on the Yatra route. These teams often work in 8-10 ft snow and face extreme weather conditions like strong Ultra violet rays, snowfall and threat of wildlife. However, despite these difficult circumstances, the team’s real satisfaction lies in saving lives.”
The Jammu and Kashmir Police first deployed the Mountain Rescue Teams in the Amarnath Yatra during 2009. Since then each year MRTs are deployed by J&K police along with teams from NDRF, SDRF & CRPF. Due to their crucial role in saving lives, the number of MRTs deployed have been increased every year. In Yatra 2019, 31 MRTs have been deployed as compared to 25 MRTs during 2018, along the tracks leading to the Holy Cave on both Baltal and Pahalgam axis. In addition, the number of personnel in each MRT have been increased.
Almost 1200 Jawans of J&K Police are trained in mountain rescue operations in rocky and snowbound terrain and out of these 140-150 are shortlisted for yatra duty every year based upon their physical and mental fitness. A refresher course for MRTs on rescue operations, Basic Life Support Systems (BLS), Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and other first aid techniques is organised by the government before their deployment.
This year 4 MRTs against 2 during 2018 have been deployed at MG Pass which are facilitating the yatris in crossing this most difficult stretch at an altitude of 14,000 feet. One additional team is deployed between Railpathri and Brarimarg.
The 31 MRTs of JKP, NDRF, SDRF & CRPF cover the entire yatra track. Each member of the team is having an individual kit with gaiters, over mitts & equipped with mountain rescue equipment like carabiners, Jumars, descending rappels, avalanche rods, helmets, oxygen cylinder & first aid kit. Each team comprises 10-14 members having 2 operators with VHF phones and walkie talkie who coordinate with other members. The teams assist yatris in crossing tough stretches and help them to reach nearby camps.