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Registration at Katra railway station, 24X7 CCTV monitoring among 46 policy matters approved by SMVDSB

JAMMU: The pilgrims to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine will soon be able to register themselves at Katra Railway Station itself, even as Cottage Policy and Aarti Darshan Policy have also been launched.

These among 46 policy matters on the agenda of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) were approved today, in a meeting of the board chaired by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha at the Raj Bhavan.

Sinha directed for all necessary measures for the safety and security of the pilgrims, asking the board CEO to ensure no intertwined movement of the devotees.

“Safety, convenience and ease of the devotees visiting the shrine remains the top priority of the Shrine Board. Keep 24×7 monitoring on pilgrimage through RFID and CCTV cameras”, said the Lt Governor.

All the facilities like lockers, bathing areas etc. should be at the same place in the new bhavans. All aspects should be taken into account for the construction of Passenger Ropeway between Tarakote Langar and Sanjichhat, he added.

The Lt Governor, who is the chairman of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, launched various initiatives to provide diverse facilities to the pilgrims and devotees. He also ascertained progress of the work for ease of devotees and laid emphasis on timely completion of all projects.

On the occasion, the Lt Governor launched a Cottage Policy, Aarti Darshan Policy, 1st edition of ‘Panchang Calendar-2023’ of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board. He laid the foundation stone of accommodation facilities for Shrine Board’s employees at Adhkuwari & Banganga and launched multiple donation facilities for the pilgrims.

Further, the Board discussed, ratified, gave in principle approvals for a total of 46 agenda items.

The meeting was attended by all members of SMVDSB – Mahamandleshwar Swami Vishveshvaranand Giriji Maharaj; Baleshwar Rai; Ashok Bhan; Kul Bhushan Ahuja; Dr Neelam Sareen; K K Sharma; Suresh Kumar Sharma (Retd. Judge) and Raghu K Mehta. Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary and Anshul Garg, Chief Executive Officer of the Shrine Board were present.
The Board members were also presented with a compliance report on the directions passed for short term and long term measures initiated for yatra regulation and crowd management.

The CEO, SMVDSB apprised the actions initiated on diverse fronts for hassle free pilgrimage including issuance and verification of RFID cards, effective crowd management, augmentation of holding areas, plans for decongestion of the entire track, separation of entry, exit routes at Bhawan and surveillance through dedicated CCTV network of over 500 cameras.

To reform and enhance functions of various departments at the shrine, the Board approved implementation of Enterprises Resource Planning (ERP) software through TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) to provide an integrated digital solution.

The Board approved the establishment of New Registration Counter at Railway Station, Katra to decongest the existing registration counters and provide convenience and comfort to the pilgrims. The Lt Governor also issued directions for building a state-of-the-art Registration centre.

The Board appreciated and decided to continue initiatives undertaken on a pilot basis during the Shardiya Navratras for the benefit of  Divyangjan. The facilities will include provision of complimentary pony and battery car services, special priority darshans at sanctum sanctorum during all upcoming Navrataras.

The meeting also decided to invite doctors willing to serve the devotees at the Shrine on volunteer basis through advertisement and wide publicity.

While taking the appraisal of ongoing Projects at Bhawan under Master Plan- Durga Bhawan & Skywalk, the Lt Governor directed to expedite the work.

The Lt Governor emphasised that every effort must be made to complete all the ongoing projects in an expedient manner. The Board impressed for making maximum use of green technologies, rain water harvesting and solar power harnessing.

Discussion was also held on slope stabilisation and other upcoming projects including redevelopment of Parvati Bhavan and separate exit track from the Bhawan and remodelling of Manokamna area.

The Board also ratified several initiatives for welfare of Board’s employees and creation of new posts for the operationalization of Durga Bhawan. Approval was also accorded to enhancement in financial assistance for the marriage of girls and grant of scholarship for meritorious students of ex-Baridar families.

The Board took appraisal of SMVD Charitable Society and approved grant in aids and financial assistance by the Board to educational institutions.

During the meeting, the Board took note of numerous steps aimed at rejuvenation of the Banganga and asked the CEO to prioritize such initiatives.

The Board also desired to complete the construction of Shankaracharya Temple near Katra in an expedient manner by resolving all pending issues with the help of concerned stakeholders.

Later in the meeting the Board members were also given a powerpoint presentation on the development of the Shrine of Shiv Khori at Reasi. Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Sh Ramesh Kumar apprised the chair on the proposed works and plan for developing the shrine.


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