The 8th meeting of the Shiv Khori Shrine Board was held today here under the Chairmanship of Dr. Pawan Kotwal, Divisional Commissioner Jammu, in which Sushma Chauhan, Deputy Commissioner Reasi, who is also the Vice Chairperson of the Board briefed about the agenda and other activities being taken up by the Board.
Sushma in her brief said that due to the continuous efforts made by the Board and civil administration in providing better infrastructure and facilities to the pilgrims, the number of yatries who visit the holy shrine has continuously increased and this year 6,71,231 yatries have paid obeisance, adding that the Board so far has earned an income of Rs 10.65 Crore mainly by way of donations and other sources.
In the meeting, while discussing the various developmental activities, the Chair approved the works plan of the current financial year to the tune of Rs. 3.65 Crore for creating various infrastructure facilities from base camp Ransoo to Shiv Khori Shrine which includes the development of the approach road to the Helipad, Construction of Ropeway from base camp Ransoo to Cave shrine and upgradation of the first 500m track, Construction of overhead sheds both on the entrance and exit of the Holy cave. Besides, the Board also decided to undertake a publicity campaign by way of installation of hoardings and Flex banners at various prominent locations like Jammu-Katra Railway station and Jammu-Katra Bus stand and other places so that the Tourists visiting the state are made aware about the Shrine and the facilities being provided there.
Taking a step further in the direction to provide better facilities to devotees, the Chairman SSKSB, Divisional Commissioner also inaugurated the Web site of the Shiv Khori Shrine Board. The web site besides detailing various facilities available to yatries also provides an online payment gateway for making donations online to the Board.
The Board also approved the proposal of outsourcing the Shiv Shakti Bhawan (TRC Ransoo) and the newly constructed guest house building at Ransoo for providing boarding and lodging facilities to the yatries. Taking into consideration the sentiments of the yatries, who would like to take bath in Doodh Ganga in Ransoo base camp, the Board approved the proposal of renovating the bathing ghats at the banks of Doodh Ganga. Keeping in view the heavy rush of pilgrims, the safety of the pilgrims on the track was considered to be of prime importance and for this, the Board also approved the proposal of installation of the railings at various vulnerable locations on the track and also directed the Superintendent of Police Reasi to take all requisite steps so that no un-toward incident takes place. Further, in order to provide better eating facilities to the pilgrims, the Board also approved the construction of two eating points, one near the Holy Cave and another at Ransoo base camp.
Meeting was also apprised that presently 93 employees are working in SSKSB who were demanding their regularization which was long pending because of non formulation of the Bye laws of the SSKSB. The Board had in its previous meeting constituted a committee for the finalization of their service Bye laws whose report was placed before the Board. The Chairman directed that a committee be constituted for examination of the draft Bye laws which would submit its recommendations to the Board in a time bound manner.
While taking a review of the progress made in the finalization of the Ransoo town planning scheme, the Chair directed the Chief Town Planner Jammu to incorporate the various suggestions given by the Committee constituted for the said purpose so as to make the town planning scheme coherent with the ground situation and also directed that the same should be placed in the public domain within one month time for seeking the objections from the general public. The Chairman also directed the Director Tourism Jammu to repair all the lights and electric poles on the track which have been set up by the Directorate. He further emphasized that the construction work of the Bus Stand Ransoo and beautification of the Ransoo Bazar be expedited. It was also apprised that for the widening of Kanda-Ransoo road, a DPR amounting to Rs 25 Crore under PMRP Package has been prepared by the Executive Engineer PWD Reasi and the same is under submission to Chief Engineer PWD, Jammu. The Chair directed that the DPR should be forwarded to the concerned quarters without any delay so that the requisite sanction to the project could be given by the concerned authorities.
Ajay Nanda, MLA Reasi, Ajit Kumar Sahu CEO, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board Katra, Sujit Kumar, Superintendent of Police Reasi, Shiv Kumar Gupta, Additional Deputy Commissioner Reasi, Chief Town Planner Jammu, Deputy Director Tourism, Assistant Commissioner Development Reasi, District Treasury Officer Reasi Mahesh Sharma, who is also executive Member of SSKSB besides other officers participated in the meeting. The meeting was also attended by non official members of the Board namely Ravi Magotra, Advocate B.S. Slathia, Sardari Lal Dubey, Arun Gupta and Anupama Sharma.