Multi-tier security grid comprising police, CRPF and other paramilitary forces would be deployed at the Vaishnodevi Shrine during the upcoming Chaitra Navratras.
To assess security and operational preparedness of shrine area for hassle-free pilgrimage prior to onset of Chaitra Navratra, which is expected to draw pilgrims in large number from various parts of the country and abroad, Anshul Garg, Chief Executive Officer, Shri Mata Vaishnodevi Shrine Board (SMVDSB), presided over a joint meeting with security agencies on Thursday to review security and operational preparedness at Spiritual Growth Centre, Katra.
The meeting was attended by DIG, CRPF; Additional Chief Executive Officer, SMVDSB; SSP, JKP, Reasi; Commandant, CRPF; Joint Chief Executive Officers, SMVDSB, Sub Divisional Magistrate, Bhawan & Katra; Asstt. CEO, SMVDSB; SDPO Katra and Deputy SP Bhawan and officers from IB, CID, SMVDSB and other intelligence agencies.
The Chief Executive Officer underscored that pilgrimage to the holy cave shrine has increased to over twenty five thousand pilgrims per day for the last about 10 days and there is expectation of good turnout of pilgrims during coming days and specially during Navratra and laid emphasis to all the stakeholders for operational preparedness with full proof security of the visiting pilgrims
The CEO stressed for action on diverse fronts for hassle free pilgrimage during Chaitra Navratra including issuance and verification of RFID cards, effective crowd management, augmentation of holding areas on the track and in Katra town, working out plans for decongestion of the entire track, particularly the Bhawan area, separation of entry, exit routes at Bhawan and all time surveillance through dedicated CCTV network of over 700 cameras.
He further exhorted that all agencies deployed at all entry points should remain more vigilant so that no yatri without RFID card enters the track for their pilgrimage.
In addition, the Chief Executive Officer also reviewed in detail various components of the Disaster Management measures to ensure quick and most effective response from all stakeholders in wake of any emergent situation. Besides, directed for regular announcements for the decongestion of the crowd on the track.
A slew of directives were also issued by the Chair to the concerned quarters for movement of vehicles and drinking water arrangements and illumination of dark spots at Katra town, besides, physical and systematic improvements wherever required after critical examination.
In the meeting, DIG, CRPF highlighted major challenges for the deployed security forces in coming days for managing the expected influx of pilgrims on Navratra. He briefed that additional forces as per request shall be deployed in and around Katra and on the track enroute Bhawan in coordination with Jammu & Kashmir Police to ensure fool-proof security and effective Yatra management.
SSP Reasi presented a detailed security grid in place and discussed various security measures going to be placed during the Navratra at Katra and enroute to Holy Shrine, besides deployment of QRTs (quick response teams) and a multi-tier security grid comprising police, CRPF and other paramilitary forces.