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COVID-19: Vaishno Devi Shrine Board raises quota for outside pilgrims to 500 per day

In view of better response to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi pilgrimage, the Shrine Board raised the cap of pilgrims coming from outside the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir to 500 per day, while also throwing open, the accommodation provision at the Bhawan.
“The Yatra to the Holy Cave Shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi is proceeding smoothly and picking up pace with each passing day. Keeping this in view, the quota of pilgrims from outside the Jammu and Kashmir UT has been enhanced to 500 pilgrims per day, out of a ceiling of 2,000 yatris daily, till further orders,” Chief Executive Officer of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board Ramesh Kumar, said here.
The yatra to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine had resumed on August 16, after remaning suspened for more than five months, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CEO said the booking by the devotees for Shradha Suman Vishesh Pooja (SSVP) has also commenced through online mode.
”Accommodations of the Shrine Board at Bhawan, Adhkuwari, Katra and Jammu have also been thrown open for the pilgrims, following all the prescribed SOPs,” he added.
For the ease and comfort of yatris, all other supplementary facilities set up by the Board, including the Battery-Operated Vehicles, Passenger Ropeway and Helicopter services were operating smoothly, while strictly following the social distancing norms and other precautionary measures, he said.
Mr Kumar further said that free Langar at Tarakote Marg and Prasad Kendra at Sanji Chhat have also been operationalised by the Board for the facility of devotees; besides opening of Bhojanalayas in the Shrine area, en route Bhawan.
The pilgrims are allowed to undertake the pilgrimage after registration through online mode only, in order to avoid any assembly of persons at the Yatra Registration Counters.
It is also mandatory for the pilgrims to wear face masks or face cover(s). Every devotee is being scanned through Thermal Scanners at the Yatra Entry Points, added the CEO.
He said children below the age of 10 years, pregnant women, persons with co-morbidities and persons above the age of 60 years have been advised to avoid the yatra, in the interest of their own safety.
The COVID negative test report of the pilgrims from outside the Union Territory and also from Red Zone districts of J&K is being checked at the Helipad and the Yatra Entry Points at Darshani Deodi, Banganga, Katra. Only those with negative reports are allowed to move towards Bhawan, added Mr Kumar.

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