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Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine set to welcome pilgrims

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In Jammu and Kashmir, the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine, atop the Trikuta hills in Reasi district of Jammu division is all decked up to welcome pilgrims arriving for the nine-day Navratri festival commencing today. Over three lakh pilgrims from across the country and abroad are expected to visit the Shrine during the festival with the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) putting in place all necessary arrangements including security to meet the heavy rush.

Lt Governor Manoj Sinha, who is also the chairman of the Shrine Board, on 31st of last month rolled out a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system for the pilgrims which is part of various new projects sanctioned for the convenience of the pilgrims in the aftermath of a stampede at the Shrine on New Year’s Day in which 12 people lost their lives and 16 others were injured.

The RFID card system, which is mandatory for all pilgrims, will help in better crowd management and real-time tracking of pilgrims.

Chief Executive Officer, SMVDSB, Anshul Garg said, two control rooms have been set up and 120 CCTV cameras have been installed along the track and the Bhawan (Sanctum Santorum) to ensure the Yatra is regulated in a better way. The shrine and the adjoining areas have been decorated with flowers and lights for the festival.

Besides, welcome gates have also been installed and this time the shrine board is introducing selfie points enroute the Cave Shrine for the pilgrims. However, the physically challenged devotees will be provided horses and battery car service free of cost to make it easy for them to offer prayers at the shrine.

Help desks have been set up for the convenience of persons with special needs and they will also be given priority for ‘Darshan’ at the Bhawan. The tourism department in collaboration with SMVDSB and divisional administration is organising various events like All India Devotional Song Competition, Wrestling Competition, Ram Leela, Shobha Yatra, Bhagwati Katha, Mata Ki Bhaint, Mata ki Kahani Play and Kavi Sammelan. (AIR NEWS)

63 Days ago