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JK Governor for high priority to enlarge facilities for Yatris
1.05 crore pilgrims visited Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine in 2012

Jammu, January 02 (Scoop News) –1.05 crore pilgrims visited the Holy Cave Shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Deviji during 2012, thereby registering an increase of 3,79,622 pilgrims over the number in 2011 when 1,01,15,647 pilgrims had paid their obeisance at the Sanctum Sanctorum. The Yatra crossed the one crore mark in 2011, for the first time.
Navin K. Choudhary, the CEO of the Shrine Board said that on the directions of N. N. Vohra, Governor, who is Chairman, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, high priority is being given to enlarge the infrastructure for the Yatra, keeping in view the progressive increase in the pilgrimage. To secure this objective, works costing over Rs. 100 crore are being presently implemented by the Board. These included projects like Kalika Dham at Jammu, Aashirvad Complex at Katra, Parvati Complex at Bhawan and Pony Shed at Bhawan. Action has also been initiated to create more locker facilities, augmenting and upgrading of Toilet complexes along the track and the time bound completion of the 7.4 km Dedicated Mule Track between Katra and Adhkuwari.
Another proposal has been approved to prepare a detailed project for stabilization of the Trikuta mountain slopes with the objective of ensuring against shooting stones and landslides. In the first phase, the most vulnerable sites would be treated against the falling of shooting stones. A multipurpose audio system, along the entire track from Banganga to Bhawan, would also be installed to enhance the ambience and facilities for the pilgrims moving on the track. He stated that besides establishment of a new Exit Track from Bhawan, locker complexes located along the Queue Complex will be relocated and the track widened in identified sectors.
As directed by the Governor, continuing focus is being given on improving and conserving the environment, including the greening of Trikuta Hills through continuous plantation activities. In furtherance of this objective, last year the Shrine Board had planted more than 3.5 lakh saplings of varied species of plants.
As part of its preparedness for meeting the steadily increasing number of pilgrims, health facilities are being improved, including establishment of two new dispensaries along the track. Steps are also in the pipeline to bring further improvements in security and disaster management measures. Required measures are also being actively considered for securing the faster forward and return movement of pilgrims, in view of the progressive increase in the Yatra.
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