Railways to operate special Delhi-Katra trains to cope with rush of pilgrims in winters
Governor Satya Pal Malik is inaugurating the much awaited Bhawan-Bhairon Ghati Cable Car project of Shri Vaishno Devi Shrine on Monday.
The Governor, who is also chairman of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, would be electronically-inaugurating the project from Raj Bhawan Jammu, while CEO of Shrine Board, Simrandeep Singh, would be present among the pilgrims at Vaishno Devi Bhawan, officils said.
“It is one of the unique cable car projects in the country planned to reduce travel distance and save time,” an official said adding, “Bhawan-Bhairo Ghati ropeway project is strategically planned for crowd management to help elders and people with heart problems.”
He added that at a time 40 to 45 passengers can board the cable car with their luggage and one-sided fair per person has been fixed at Rs 100. The cable car will cover the distance in around 3 minutes and will be operational only during day time.
At an average, daily 3000 to 4000 pilgrims can travel from Bhawan to Bhairon Ghati while it is also having special seating arrangements for the handicapped besides medical care facilities in place in the cabins. Special ticketing counters have been set up at Bhawan, officials said.
There is a belief that the pilgrims after paying obeisance at the cave shrine, if the pilgrims don’t visit to Bhairon Ghati the yatra remains incomplete. But due to the tiresome journey, many pilgrims skip this 3.5-km trek.
A day before inauguration, the cable car was run free of cost for pilgrims.
“Once the service starts, it will help pilgrims in reaching Bhairon Ghati in just a few minutes,” they added and said that the project worth Rs 75 crores was completed in a period of four years.
Moreover, to tackle winter rush at Vaishno Devi, Indian Railways has decided to run special trains between Delhi to Katra.
These trains will be operated between Anand Vihar Terminal and Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra by Northern Railway from 23 December to 15 January, 2019 on weekly and bi-weekly basis.
Special train number 04610/04609 and 04401/04402 will run weekly from 23 December to 14 January on every Sunday. Train number 04610 departs from Shri Matra Vaishno Devi Katra at 9.00 pm and reaches Delhi Junction at 11.20 am the following day. Train number 04609 departs from Delhi Junction on every Monday on 6.25 pm and reaches Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra at 09.05 am. Both trains have air conditioned, sleeper and general class compartments and will cover routes including Udhampur, Jammu, Pathankot Cantonment, Jalandhar Cantonment, Ludhiana, Ambala Cantonment and Panipat stations.
Train number 04401 departs from Delhi’s Anand Vihar Terminal at 11 pm and arrives at Katra on next day around 2.00 pm. Train number 04402 departs from Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra from 25 December to 15 January every Tuesday and Friday.
From Katra it departs at 11.30 pm and arrives next day at 02.20 pm at Delhi. These trains cover routes include Udhampur, Jammuwadi, Pathankot Cantonment, Jalandhar Cantonment , Ludhiana, Ambala Cantonment, Yamunanagar Jagadhri, Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar, Meerut City and Ghaziabad stations.