Vaishno Devi Shrine Board ready to welcome pilgrims

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Jammu, May 29 (UNI) With heavy rush of pilgrims visiting Shri Mata Vaishno Devi shrine, situated in Trikuta hills of Katra town in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir, the shrine board authorities have ''geared up'' to welcome and accommodate the pilgrims, official sources here said.

As Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) has been in service of the pilgrims visiting the holy shrine for almost two decades, the board authorities has facilitated crores of pilgrims in their pilgrimage.

''An unprecedented summer rush has been witnessed this year as till date, 25,82,793 pilgrims have had darshans of the goddesses, 'Mahalaxmi', 'Saraswati' and 'Maa Kali' inside the cave,'' chief executive officer, SMVDSB M K Diwedi told UNI.

However, in month of May itself, 8,33,906 pilgrims paid obeisance at the shrine, which is 1,48,263 more as compared to last year figures he said adding, ''about 40,000 pilgrims are arriving daily at Katra and adequate arrangements have been made to facilitate smooth pilgrimage for all the devotees visiting the place.'' Meanwhile, shrine board has been providing free services to the pilgrims while huge infrastructure has been put in place for the facilitation of the Yatris enroute and at locations like Adkhkuwari, Bhawan, Sanjichatt and Bhairon Ghati.

''The board has maintained about 250 toilet blocks, and more than a thousand employees are deployed for round the clock for sanitation facility whereas there are about 250 water points providing clean drinking water to the pilgrims,'' the CEO added.

Arrangements are in place to suit the need of pilgrims representing each and every class and society while group number facility and resting points ensure that without waiting for hours in a queue, the pilgrims can have comfortable 'Darshans' of shrine, Mr Diwedi added.

UNI VBH KK Mir HS2242

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