Jammu: The holy cave shrine of Mata Vaishnodevi in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district will have a master plan for the entire shrine area for a period of 40-50 years.
This decision was taken by J&K Governor N N Vohra, who is the Chairman of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, at the 58th meeting of the board held in New Delhi.
He stressed the need for preparing a master plan so that an adequately long-term perspective determines the scale and capacity of the infrastructural facilities which need to be provided for the pilgrims.
He observed that a well-planned approach in dealing with all aspects of the yatra has become extremely important to preserve the environment and keep a check on pollution.
The Board took a number of decisions to see the increasing number of pilgrims visiting the shrine are provided with the best possible arrangements.
Presentations were made to the Board by experts of two national institutions regarding the approaches which may be followed for preparing a comprehensive master plan for the entire shrine area from Banganga to Bhawan and along all the tracks, Board spokesman said.
The governor observed that the maximum possible use of modern technologies would be needed for planning improved facilities for the pilgrims, with particular attention to issues relating to ensuring effective garbage collection and sanitary arrangements.
Attention also requires to be devoted to the collection and treatment of mule dung and waste water besides sewage treatment, a spokesman said.
He also stressed the importance of ensuring effective maintenance of toilets and bathing facilities and continuing upgrade of existing amenities to meet the arising requirements of the pilgrimage.
The Board had an extensive discussion with the team of experts of the School of Planning and Architecture regarding the areas requiring particular attention in the preparation of the master plan for the entire shrine area, the Spokesman said.
It also reviewed the Rs. 77-crore Slope Stabilisation Project which is being executed to protect, treat and stabilise 33 sites on the Trikuta Mountains which have been identified as the most vulnerable from the point of view of landslides and stones falling on the tracks.
The Board approved the commencement of Phase-II of this project which will involve slope stabilisation measures such as installation of rockfall barriers, high tensile steel wire mesh, shotcrete, consolidation grouting, etc at an estimated cost of Rs. 16.50 crores.
It also reviewed the implementation of the Rs. 60 crore Bhawan-Bhairon Ghati Passenger Ropeway and Rs. 12 crore Siar Dabri-Bhawan Material Ropeway Projects which are scheduled to be commissioned early next year.