Days before the upcoming Navratras, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Saturday inaugurated the newly-constructed Durga Bhawan at the Holy Shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi.
Speaking on the occasion, Manoj Sinha said the Bhawan with a capacity to accommodate 3,000 pilgrims per day will 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.
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 Sanjhi Chhat 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.
A committee has been constituted to discuss and resolve all the concerns of stakeholders, he added.
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 LG, Ramesh Kumar, divisional commissioner, Jammu; Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board Members; Anshul Garg, CEO SMVDSB, Donors and pilgrims in large numbers attended the inaugural ceremony.