Kashmir governor reviews arrangements for Vaishno Devi pilgrims

Jammu, March 2: Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra reviewed the arrangements made at the Katra railway station for pilgrims to the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine, the government said Sunday.

The governor visited the railway station Saturday and was briefed by officials about the facilities for pilgrims who would arrive at Katra when the Udhampur-Katra sector gets commissioned this year, said a statement.

The governor was informed that nine pairs of trains would operate from Katra, which means 6,000-6,500 passengers would be arriving daily.

Each year, more than a crore pilgrims from across the country come to pay obeisance at the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine.

Katra is being connected with the rest of India this year with a rail link. Pilgrims to the shrine would now directly reach Katra, which is the base town of the shrine.

Till now, pilgrims had to reach Jammu from where they took buses and taxis to Katra.

At the newly-constructed Katra railway station, Vohra went around retiring rooms, dormitories, restaurants, shopping lounge and other facilities created by the Indian Railways.

The governor enquired about lodging tariffs and said pilgrims should be provided safe, neat and moderately-priced facilities.

Shrine Board CEO M.K. Bhandari informed the governor that four counters would be opened depending on the requirement and passenger inflow.

The governor also travelled on the road connecting the railway station with the town.

He said that with the commencement of train services to Katra, traffic on the road would increase and therefore, it was necessary to ensure traffic regulation.

He asked officials to see that trees and flowering plants are planted along the road before the rainy season and the state public works department should ensure regular maintenance.

IANS