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People to get Vaishnodevi darshan pass at their own town

Written by: Staff
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Jammu, Sep 11 (UNI) Vaishnodevi pilgrims can now say goodbye to long queues for getting the darshan slip, mandatory document to enter the highly protected holy Shrine situated at 14,000 feet above sea level.

Till now pilgrims visiting the Shrine had to stand in serpentine queues to get darshan slip which invariably exhuasts pilgrims coming from all parts of the country, even before they start their 14-km trek to the holy cave.

''If any devotee is willing to visit mata Vaishnodevi Dham, very soon you may find the darshan slip at the nearest post office in your home town,'' says an official of Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (MVDSB).

However, the system would be put in place only after the proposal sent by the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board to the postal department is cleared. Thereafter, pilgrims could get the yatra slips from their nearest computerised post offices, sources said.

The Shrine Board had submitted the proposal to the postal department some eight months back. The postal department, sources said, had sought some modifications in the proposal.

However, Board oficials said the proposal could proceed as planned only if the modifications suggested were acceptable to the Board.

''Any changes made by the postal department should be acceptable to the Shrine Board. The department wanted some changes in the proposal and also imposed some conditions,'' said an official.

Sources in the board said once the postal department accepts it, other modalities could be discussed to ensure that pilgrims can avail the facility at the earliest.

The board had come up with the idea after finding that, during peak season people had to wait for two to three days to get themselves resigstered as pilgrims at Niharika, the MVDSB headquarter, Katra.

This is one of the steps being taken by the board to ensure that pilgrims get prior information on the rush at the Shrine so as to plan their pilgrimage accordingly.

Officials said the yatra slip idea was mooted to ensure that even during peak season, people do not have to stay for long at Katra for registration, besides giving prior information on the bookings. It would also facilitate their registration at their nearest computerised branch of the post office.

''Though the board does not charge for the yatra slips at its counters, those availing of the facility at post offices would have to pay a certain amount, which was yet to be decided. On the probable reason for the delay in getting the green signal, the official said postal department might be waiting for clearance from its internal finance department.

UNI HGV SAM KN1834

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