Trial run on Vaishno Devi cable car project next
After missing several deadlines, finally, the trial run on the Vaishno Devi-Bhairo Ghati cable car project would be conducted next week, sources said.
They said that all arrangements have been put in place by the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) to successfully conduct the trial run on the ropeway project next week especially in view of the expected rush of pilgrims to the cave shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi located in the Trikuta hills.
"All the prestigious projects, especially the Bhawan-Bhairo Ghati ropeway project, which were strategically planned for crowd management to help elders and people with heart problems, are in completion stage and would be readied before the summer vacations," source told Greater Kashmir.
They further said that the new 6.5 kilometer "only pedestrian track" from Banganga to Ardhkuwari-Tarakota Marg, would also be dedicated to the public ending May.
"Both these projects, the new pedestrian track and Bhawan-Bhairo Ghati ropeway project, are in completion stage and we are working for its operation before summer rush," Anshul Garg, additional CEO of the shrine board told Greater Kashmir.
"All the mechanical works for the ropeway project have been completed," he said adding, "The carrying capacity of cable car is 45 persons, while 900 pilgrims can travel to Bhairo mandir in one hour and it would enable pilgrims to take 1.5 kilometers difficult journey in just 4 minutes."
Once operational, the two projects will prove boon for pilgrims particularly those who cannot trek the hilly track.
As many as 24.14 lakh pilgrims have paid obeisance at shrine in the first four months of this year. It is expected that the footfall of pilgrims will increase this year.
As per figures available with Greater Kashmir, 5.45 lakh pilgrims visited the cave shrine in January, 3.43 lakh in February, 7.96 lakhs in March and in April, 7.28 lakh pilgrims paid obeisance at the temple.
The cave shrine is nestled in the Trikuta Hills at a height of 5,200 feet from the sea level.
The number of pilgrims visiting the Vaishno Devi shrine in 1986, when the Shrine Board took over the affairs, was just 13.95 lakh. Since then, the yatra continued to grow every year.