The 63rd meeting of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board was held at the Raj Bhavan here today under the chairmanship of Governor Satya Pal Malik, Chairman of the Shrine Board.
The meeting was attended by Dr. S. S. Bloeria, Dr. Ashok Bhan, Mr. H. L. Maini, Mr. Justice (Retd) Pramod Kohli, Maj. Gen. (Retd) Shiv Kumar Sharma and Mr. B. B. Vyas, all Board Members; and Mr. B V R Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary; Mr. Umang Narula, Principal Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Dheeraj Gupta, Chief Executive Officer of the Shrine Board, Mr. Simrandeep Singh, designate Chief Executive Officer of the Shrine Board, Dr. M. K. Kumar and Mr. Anshul Garg, Additional Chief Executive Officers.
At the outset, the Governor chairing the first meeting of the Board since taking over in August this year, complimented the Board Members and lauded their commitment and valuable contributions for creating and continually upgrading facilities for convenience of the pilgrims.
The Governor reviewed the implementation of the Master Plan for Bhawan and the Extended Shrine Area prepared by the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, to be executed in phases, and directed the CEO of the Board to ensure timely implementation of the various components of the Master Plan for establishing infrastructural facilities for the visiting pilgrims in a planned and holistic manner. He also emphasized on expeditious planning and construction of New Durga Bhawan for providing on-floor free of cost accommodation facilities for pilgrims by maximizing the utilization
The Governor while reviewing the status of installation of Passenger Ropeway between Bhawan and Bhairon Ghati, asked the CEO to ensure its early commissioning for facilitation of the pilgrims after completion of trial runs. This Ropeway has a carrying capacity of 800 passengers per hour and shall reduce the travel time of the one-way journey on foot to Bhairon Temple, from one hour to less than three minutes. The Board has decided to charge a highly subsidized to and fro ticket of Rs. 100 per passenger to enable maximum number of pilgrims to avail this facility.
The meeting also took stock of the construction of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Nursing College Complex coming up at Kakryal and emphasized the need for timely completion of its hostels, staff and academic buildings.
The meeting reviewed the functioning of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Kakryal and expressed satisfaction on its performance. The Board in a historic decision approved a Medical Support Policy for the treatment of victims of public trauma under its social support initiative at the Superspeciality Hospital. The beneficiaries in this policy will include public trauma victims of road accidents, landslides or shooting stone incidents and such calamities from the surrounding areas of the Shrine referred to the hospital by the concerned Deputy Commissioners to provide emergency medical aid. Medical assistance shall be provided in all such cases by the Shrine Board till the stabilization
For facilitating on-foot pilgrims who use the scenic Tarakote Marg for their journey to the Holy Cave Shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Deviji, the Board approved installation of a hi-tech Multipurpose Audio System on this track from Katra to Adhkuwari. This Audio System will be installed through M/s BOSE Corporation India Pvt. Ltd. at an estimated cost of Rs. 4.66 crore, which will include operational and maintenance cost for 5 years. Besides 15 booths, 550 speakers will be installed along the Tarakote Marg for the facilitation of pilgrims.
It will play devotional music and spiritual songs which have been specially composed under the guidance of Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma, Santoor maestro (and Member Shrine Board), which will comprise “Chants”, “Mantras”, “Stotras”, Bhaints and devotional music in Dogri language. The audio system will also ensure a reliable and real time dissemination of informative advisories and announcements, besides enhancing the ambience for pilgrims moving on the tracks through playing of devotional music.
The Governor directed CEO and other Board officers for making maximum use of technological interventions in the interest of pilgrims and, side by side, promote conservation of environment and ensure upkeep of sanitation and hygiene in the Shrine area.
Earlier, the CEO gave a detailed presentation on the to-date status of varied activities of the Shrine Board and the action taken as regards the implementation of various decisions of the previous meetings of the Board.
Other matters reviewed includes the