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Fried Food, Cold Drinks Now Banned during Amarnath Yatra

Amarnath Yatris won’t get halwa, puri, burger, pizza or other stuffed parantha from this year.
Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) has banned all sorts of cold drinks, fast food and fried food in both the routes to Amarnath (Baltal and Pahalham). In a conversation with the Deputy Chief Executive, he said that the ban has been imposed following recommendations by an expert committee which also comprised of eminent doctors. 

The decision to ban the fried food as well as cold drinks has been taken primarily because these food items lead to acclimatization problems and since the route lies at an elevation of about 13500 feet. Oily food results in respiratory problems in regions where the temperature dips down to sub-zero at night.

This committee was called following the concerns of Supreme Court for the large number of pilgrims’ death in 2012. During the 39-day Yatra as much as 130 pilgrims had died in 2012. The following years, the deaths however came to a fall but there still were 40 casualties in 2014.

SASB has prepared a special menu to tackle the problem. The menu has been prepared for food-stalls, langar, organizations, shops, dhabas and other such establishment on the route. The menu includes pulses, cereals, green potato, vegetables, soya chunks, plain dal, besan curry, green salad, fruits and sprouts. Other items in the menu are zeera rice, plain rice, khichri and nutrela rice, dal roti, roti, missi roti, makki ki roti (without oil or butter), Kashmiri nan, bread jam,  tandoori roti, samber, idli, uttampam, poha, bread kulcha, steamed dumplings, herbal tea, low fat curd, sharbat,  coffee lemon squash/water, low fat milk, fruits juice, mineral water, glucose, roasted papad,  vegetable soup khakra, til ka ladoo, dry petha, dhokla, and amla/fruit murabba.

On the other hand, strictly banned items are- non-vegetarian food, Tobacco/gutka, alcohol, pan masala and other intoxicants, bathura, burger, puri , pizza, heavy pullav/fried rice, halwa, ladoo, khoya burfi, gulab jamun, jalebi and other halwaii items, pickle, cream-based food-items, stuffed parantha. Also crunchy snacks like namkeen, kurkure, lays, mathi and dried dry-fruits and not permitted to be sold or consumed along the way.

People not adhering to the guidelines will be penalized. District Magistrates of Anantnag and Ganderbal are asked to issue special orders under the Ranbir Penal Code provisions for the people violating the rules.