Security reviewed in anticipation of heavy summer rush at Vaishno Devi shrine

Security reviewed in anticipation of heavy summer rush at Vaishno Devi shrine
GK Photo

Katra, May 20: With the onset of the summer holidays in many states across the country, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) which is anticipating a rush of devotees at the holy shrine over the next couple of months is gearing up with the foolproof measures to ensure the best pilgrimage experience to the visiting devotees. 

In this regard, to have a comprehensive review of security and operational preparedness of the shrine area, Anshul Garg, Chief Executive Officer, presided over a meeting with security agencies today at Spiritual Growth Centre, Katra.

The Chief Executive Officer underscored that as summer holidays are closer in the country the shrine being a tourist destination is expecting a heavy influx of devotees and the rush is anticipated also at the base camp Katra.

The official stressed action on diverse fronts for hassle-free pilgrimage during the coming days including issuance and verification of RFID cards, effective crowd management, augmentation of holding areas on the track and in Katra town, working out plans for decongestion of the entire track, particularly the Bhawan area, separation of entry, exit routes at Bhawan and all-time surveillance through dedicated CCTV network of over 700 cameras.

He further exhorted that all agencies deployed at all entry points should remain more vigilant so that no yatri enters the track without frisking and registration for pilgrimage. He further stressed on the security agencies and other stakeholders to undertake verification and census of pony porters besides keeping track of any suspicious element on the track.

In addition, the Chief Executive Officer also reviewed in detail various components of the disaster management measures including firefighting preparedness to ensure a quick and effective response from all stakeholders in the wake of any emergent situation. Besides, he directed them for regular announcements for the decongestion of the crowd on the track.

In the meeting, police highlighted major challenges for the deployed security forces in the coming days for managing the expected influx of pilgrims.

Officials briefed that ample deployment of forces is already in place and a beat system is prevailing at Bhawan in coordination with SMVDSB and other security agencies on the track to ensure fool-proof security and effective Yatra management, besides the deployment of multi-tier security grid comprising police, CRPF, and other paramilitary forces.

The meeting was attended by SSP Reasi; SP, Katra; Commandant, CRPF;  Joint Chief Executive Officers, SMVDSB; Sub Divisional Magistrate, Bhawan and Katra; Deputy Director, Subsidiary IB; Assistant Chief Executive Officers, SMVDSB; Assistant Director, Fire and Emergency Services; SDPO Katra and Bhawan and other officers from IB, CID, Army, SMVDSB and intelligence agencies.

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