New Delhi [India]: Apart from issuing Radio Frequency Identification cards to pilgrims during their journey, Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) will also issue RFID cards to ponies for better safety and security of pilgrims during the yatra.
The documents related to RFID tagging of pony that have been accessed by ANI reads that the Board intends to develop an automated system on a digital platform which is in the interest of visiting pilgrims as well as the service providers (Pony/ Pithus/ Palkiwallas).
“RFID tagging must be integrated with ear-tagging already undertaken by the Animal Husbandry Department of Jammu and Kashmir so as to enable tracking of every pony plying on the track through its unique ear-tag number or RFID on a real-time basis, at any of the prepaid counter and Main Switching Centre (MSC),” it reads.
In the year 2019, 5200 out of a total sanctioned strength of 5500 ponies were registered from the Pahalgam side and 2699 ponies out of a total strength of 6000 were registered from the Baltal side.
It further read that RFID tags shall be fixed properly (Tamperproof) on the pony (in the neck or any other suitable part of a pony) for its identification and tracking during the journey on the track enroute Holy Cave and if the Pony operator intentionally breaks the RFID tag, his mule shall be shunted- out of the system and will not be liable to ply on the track and get the business through pre-paid counters.
In the year 2018, a total of 2.85 lakh (2,85,000) pilgrims visited the shrine and in the year 2019, 3.43 lakh pilgrims visited but the yatra was abruptly called off on August 2, just a few days before Article 370 was removed.
The yatra could not be resumed in later years due to the Coronavirus pandemic and remained suspended till the year 2021.
The yatra will commence this year from June 30 onwards and will conclude on August 11. This year the Jammu and Kashmir administration expects around eight lakh pilgrims for the yatra.
The document further read that the system will also manage the pilgrim seeking services of pony/palanquins/pithu for visiting the Shrine in a seamless and hassle-free way. The system will be capable to track pilgrims as well as porters over the track through RFID and generate reports using various criteria on a real-time basis as per the requirement of the board.
Few days ago, the Director-General of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Kuldiep Singh along with other senior CRPF officers visited the Jammu and Kashmir and held a meeting over the security and other measures for the annual pilgrimage. They also held a meeting with other stakeholders like SASB, J&K administration and other agencies participating in the pilgrimage security and management.
“Digital registration of service providers like pony hawkers with their credentials like Photograph, Personal Details, Address Details, Medical records and Biometric information needs to be done and issuance of RFID based Smart card to registered and authenticated Pony hawker/Porter in order to make a secure and tamper-proof system,” it read.
“Yatra parchi with Bar-code currently generated for each yatri must be integrated with the user receipt to be generated at the prepaid counters. This will enable tracking of pony users through individual yatra slip numbers as well,” it read.
It also stated that Medical certificates of the pony issued by the Veterinary doctor to the ponywalla (owner) must be digitized and stored in the database. Then the system should generate a unique ID for every medically fit pony.
“The same ID must be punched into the RFID tag. This Unique Id must be associated /linked with the credentials of the pony owner in the master database. This unique id is also linked with the central database. The RFID tag should be tamper-proof and suitably fixed on the body of the animal,” it read. (ANI)