KATRA, AUGUST 19: Lieutenant Governor Shri Manoj Sinha today chaired the 71st Board meeting of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board at Kakryal.
The meeting was attended by members of the Board– Mahamandleshwar Swami Vishveshvaranand Giriji Maharaj; Dr Ashok Bhan; Sh. Kul Bhushan Ahuja; Dr Neelam Sareen; Sh. K K Sharma; Sh. Suresh Kumar Sharma and Sh. Raghu K. Mehta.
Dr Mandeep Kumar Bhandari, Principal Secretary to Lt Governor and Sh. Anshul Garg, Chief Executive Officer, SMVDSB were also present.
The Board under the chairmanship of Lt Governor accorded in-principle approval accorded for the establishment of a 50-seat new Medical College at Kakryal at an approximate cost of Rs. 350-450 crore.
The Board concurred with the projected need for expansion of the operational base of SMVDNSH (Hospital of the Board) to cater to a larger number of patients requiring specialized treatment. After extensive deliberations, the Board accorded in-principle approval to addition of 200 to 220 beds to the existing capacity of Hospital at an approximate cost of Rs. 120 crore.
The Board took note of reported position, held extensive deliberations, ratified and gave in-principle approvals to as many as 36 agenda items having varied implications for the functioning of Board and augmenting of pilgrim services.
The Board asked the CEO SMVDSB to strive for creating best of facilities in sync with the emerging requirements, for making pilgrimage a memorable experience. In line with the same, the Board granted in-principle approval to construction of a new Yatri-cum-Staff accommodation at Bhawan at an approximate cost of Rs. 31.51 crore.
The meeting also reviewed the progress of various pilgrim-centric mega infrastructure projects such as Skywalk, retrofitting and remodeling of Parvati Bhawan, expansion of Atka area etc.
The CEO, SMVDSB informed the Board that the prestigious projects underway at Bhawan are being expedited and are likely to be completed prior to the Shardiya Navratras. He also apprised the Board about various steps initiated for averting crisscross movement of pilgrims for a hassle free Darshan experience.
The CEO Shrine Board was directed to expedite construction / redevelopment of Shankaracharya Temple along with the creation of track and allied facilities and emphasized the need to engage all stakeholders for satisfactory resolution of all pending issues in this regard.
The CEO apprised the chair about the action taken on several fronts such as employees’ welfare (including re-structuring of various cadres, institution of Award Scheme to recognize outstanding performers etc), the amendment in Administrative, Financial and other powers to be exercised by various officers, the disaster management initiatives undertaken in the recent past and as to how these have helped in improving the employee’s level of preparedness to face any disaster like situation.
The Board also approved the required Grant-in-Aid for the FY 2023-24 in favour of SMVD Charitable Society for strengthening the functioning of Board’s peripheral institutions like Gurukul, Hospital, Sports Complex and College of Nursing (being managed under the SMVD Society).
The Lt Governor reiterated that the facilities for pilgrims are topmost priority of the Board and all steps must be taken for their hassle-free pilgrimage.
He directed the CEO Shrine Board to ensure online bookings for passenger ropeway for easy access and comfort of devotees. The safety of passengers must be ensured, he added.
On the sidelines of the meeting, the Lt Governor, who is the Chairman of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, laid e-foundation stones for Cottages and a mess Block near SMVD Sports Complex Katra for the devotees and Staff accommodation at Banganga to be developed at a cost of Rs. 14 crore.
He also launched the revamped website of Shrine Board and released the Dogri translation of Panchtantra by Dr Neelam Sareen.