Katra, Oct 12 (KNO): The President of India, Droupadi Murmu Thursday visited the Holy Cave Shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji and paid obeisance at the sanctum sanctorum. She prayed for the prosperity and well-being of fellow citizens.
She was accompanied by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha. This is the first visit of Droupadi Murmu as President to the Holy Shrine. On arrival at the Panchhi Helipad, the President was received by Anshul Garg, Chief Executive Officer of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board.
The President inaugurated various state-of-the-art pilgrim-centric facilities at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine. These included 250-meter long and 2.5 mtr. wide Skywalk project at an elevation of 20 feet above the existing track which has been constructed in record 14 months time at a cost of Rs 15.69 crore with an aim to overcome the problem of multidirectional flow of yatra.
The Skywalk is laced with most modernized facilities like the wooden flooring as a preventive measure for devotees’ comfort in harsh weather conditions, a waiting hall, seating arrangements for about 150 pilgrims, LED screens, resting rooms and two emergency exits.
The pedestrian flyover (Skywalk) has an aesthetically designed entrance with an artistically embellished portray of Nav Durga to give an enriched experience for devotees. After its commencement, now entry and exit routes leading to the sanctum sanctorum have been separated to ensure systematic and smooth movement of yatra.
Besides, the President inaugurated Remodeled Parvati Bhawan which included 1,500 digital lockers, waiting lounge, washrooms and toilets for the devotees. The aim of consolidating multiple facilities under one roof is to curtail the crisscross movement of devotees seeking locker facilities and bathing spaces in the Bhawan area and channelize the devotees towards the Skywalk.
The retrofitted Parvati Bhawan is a free-of-cost facility that shall able to facilitate around 10,000 pilgrims per day. The inaugural ceremonies commenced with hawan and pooja rituals.
The President complimented the efforts being initiated by Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board under the Chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha towards facilitating the journey and holy Darshans of the pilgrims.
While on return, the President also visited the Bhairon Temple via Passenger Ropeway and paid obeisance.
Meanwhile, the Lt Governor, who is also the Chairman of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board apprised the President about the initiatives being taken by the Shrine Board for upgrading and expansion of the infrastructure to facilitate pilgrims to the Holy Shrine.
These initiatives are aimed at making the yatra more convenient and memorable for pilgrims which is a testament to the dedication and commitment of the Board.