To facilitate smooth sailing and security of the pilgrims, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board will soon be introducing the Radio Frequency Identification Card (RFID) facility that will replace the existing yatra slip format.

Every year around one crore pilgrims from all over the country pay obeisance at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Cave Shrine situated in Trikuta Hills at Katra base camp in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir.

“To keep track on pilgrims especially those who go missing or separates from groups/families at the time of rush, a full-fledged RFID facility is soon going to be introduced for the devotees,” Anshul Garg, Chief Executive Officer, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, said.

Garg said that the trials in this regard are already in progress and in coming weeks, it will be launched completely.

“The pilgrim possessing the RFID card can be tracked throughout the 13-kms long journey from base camp Katra to Bhawan,” said the CEO, terming it a ‘boon’ not only for the visitors but also for the Shrine Board and other yatra facilitating agencies.
“Trials are already on for which a counter is installed and the pilgrims are being issued the RFID cards,” said the CEO adding, “It will be a one-time use card and has to be deposited by the pilgrims on their return at the exit point.”

“The card facility will be issued free of cost to the pilgrims and counters are set up to issue the fully laminated fiber-rich RFID card,” he revealed.
The CEO added, “At present, the practice of Yatra Photo Slips being issued to the pilgrims will be stopped and within the next few days RFID Yatra Card exercise will begin.”
“The antennas are being installed along the route for tracking system function and an established control room has also been launched for monitoring,” said the CEO, adding that once introduced, RFID initiative will be going to be a great help in tracking the pilgrims.
Notably, 20,000 to 25,000 devotees are every day reaching Katra base camp to pay obeisance at Bhawan.

Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, who is also the Chairman of the Board, on July 28 also laid the e-foundation of Yatri Queue Management System (Sky Walk) and other infra projects of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine.

Sinha was also apprised by the CEO about proposed solutions like RFID -based tracking and dispatching pilgrims in batches among few others.
LG, however, termed Yatri Queue Management System and RFID one of the focused initiatives of the Shrine Board for Yatra Management as the facilities shall ensure safety, comfort and ease of commutation of the devotees.