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Vaishno Devi shrine to get Skywalk by Nov

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Jammu, Sep 01: The Vaishno Devi shrine will soon have a skywalk near the bhawan (temple) area that would provide separate paths for incoming and outgoing pilgrims. It will be 20 feet above the track level.

The Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board has started work on the much needed Skywalk which would help separate the incoming and outgoing pilgrims near the Bhawan area. The skywalk with a length of 200 metres and width of 2.5 metres is expected to be completed by November this year at a cost of over Rs 9.89 crore to allow smooth movement of inbound pilgrims.

Vaishno Devi shrine to get Skywalk by Nov

While the present route will be used to reach the shrine, the Skywalk, an elevated route, will provide exit from the temple area or vice versa.

Conceptualized with an emphasis on safety and facility, the skywalk will have seating arrangements for senior citizens and women.

After introducing the radio frequency identity cards (RFID) to keep a track on the movement of pilgrims, the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) has started work on the much-needed skywalk.

Vaishno Devi Yatra temporarily suspended due to flashfloods caused by heavy rainsVaishno Devi Yatra temporarily suspended due to flashfloods caused by heavy rains

Costing over Rs 9.89 crore, the workis expected to be completed by November, an official of the SMVDSB said.

He said the facility, 20 feet above the track level, would help overcome the problem of multidirectional flow of yatra and a chaotic condition between Manokamna Bhawan and gate number 3, the scene of stampede on New Year's Day in which 12 people lost their lives and 16 others were injured.

It was the first such tragedy at the shrine, where pilgrims reach after a 13-km trek from the base camp of Katra, following which Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, who is also the chairperson of the SMVDSB, had announced several decisions to ensure the safety of the devotees, including a provision for 100% online registration.

Sinha had issued directions for physical and systematic improvements wherever required after critical examination.

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