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Ahead of  Navratri, LG opens 3000 capacity Durga bhawan at MataVaishno Devi
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Ahead of  Navratri, LG opens 3000 capacity Durga bhawan at MataVaishno Devi

Says panel set up to dispel apprehensions over ropeway project at Shrine 

Post by RK News on Sunday, March 19, 2023

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Katra, Mar18: Ahead of chaitriNavaratri festival, Lieutenant GovernorManoj Sinha on Saturday inaugurated the newly constructed Durga Bhawan at the Holy Shrine of Shri MataVaishno Devi. 
Speaking on the occasion, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said the Bhawan with the capacity to accommodate 3000 pilgrims per daywill provide ease and comfort to the seekers, besides ensuring effective crowd management.
“The Shrine Board has started various new initiatives for providing better facilities to the pilgrims. Spiritual and cultural heritage is being revived by building modern infrastructure and administration is committed to ensure that devotees on sacred pilgrimage are looked after well,” said the Lt Governor.
“It is our responsibility to enrich the traditional values and facilitate the spiritual journey of the devotees coming from across the country and abroad, especially those who are elderly, sick and specially-abled,” he added.
Responding to a question about the resentment among the residents of Katra over the proposed ropeway project, Sinha said his administration is open to suggestions and wants them onboard while executing the project which would help people with disabilities to visit the shrine.
"There are apprehensions among the Katra residents (over the loss of livelihood opportunities after the construction of the ropeway). We want to dispel those apprehensions and want them to be on board," the LG said.
Katra town, the base camp for pilgrims visiting the shrine, witnessed massive protest against the construction of the proposed ropeway on February 28, a week after Sinha announced that the project is in the final phase of tendering and will be undertaken with utmost sensitivity to safeguard the interests of the local businessmen.
The SMVDSB has recently approved a Rs 250-crore passenger ropeway project between Tarakote Marg and Sanji Chat along the 12-km track to facilitate elderly people, medically unfit and disabled people who are not able to offer their prayers at the shrine.
"It (ropeway project) is still in the pre-consultation phase. We have framed a committee comprising Divisional Commissioner (Jammu), CEO shrine Board and other officials who will hold talks with the people and note their suggestions," said Sinha, who paid his obeisance at the shrine and also participated in a special prayer.
The Lt Governor said the interests of traders, pony walas, local business community and other stakeholders are being safeguarded while developing the facilities for the devotees. A ropeway from Tarakote to SanjhiChhat will come up soon.
“ I assure the local people, traders and all the stakeholders that the ropeway facility will be provided to only elderly, sick and specially-abled devotees. We have kept a limited capacity of devotees per day. There will be no impact on the livelihood of traders, business community and ponywalas,” said the Lt Governor.
The Lt Governor also shared the efforts for bringing the prominent spiritual and religious places of the region on the spiritual tourism circuit which will also generate livelihood opportunities for the locals.
“Shrine Board has also approved the reconstruction of Shankaracharya temple near Katra. Underground cabling works will be completed next month and Skywalk will be ready by the month of June. Many more projects are in the pipeline to uplift the religious tourism sector in the region,” he added.
The inaugural ceremony commenced with the Lt Governor along with Board members and Chief Secretary taking part in the hawan and pooja rituals.
Earlier, the Lt Governor paid obeisance at the sanctum sanctorum and prayed for happiness, peace and prosperity for all.
Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary; Dr. Mandeep Kumar Bhandari, Principal Secretary to the Lt Governor;  Sh Ramesh Kumar, Divisional Commissioner Jammu; Shri MataVaishno Devi Shrine Board Members; Sh Anshul Garg, CEO SMVDSB, Donors and pilgrims in large numbers attended the inaugural ceremony. ( with inputs from PTI)

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