Facilities for yatris topmost priority: LG

Chairs 71st board meeting of SMVDSB Establishment of 50-seat new medical college approved
“The safety of passengers must be ensured,” he said.
“The safety of passengers must be ensured,” he said.J&K Govt

Katra: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha Saturday reiterated that the facilities for yatris were the topmost priority of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) and all steps needed to be taken for their hassle-free yatra.

An official spokesman in a statement issued here said that chairing the 71st Board meeting of SMVDSB at Kakryal, the LG directed the CEO SMVDSB to ensure online bookings for passenger ropeway for easy access and comfort of devotees.

“The safety of passengers must be ensured,” he said.

Earlier, the board under the chairmanship of the LG 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 specialised treatment.

After extensive deliberations, the board accorded in-principle approval to addition of 200 to 220 beds to the existing capacity of the 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 the board and augmenting of yatri services.

The board asked the CEO SMVDSB to strive for creating the best of facilities in sync with the emerging requirements for making pilgrimage a memorable experience.

In line with it, the board granted in-principle approval to construction of a new yatri-cum-staff accommodation at the bhawan at an approximate cost of Rs 31.51 crore.

The meeting also reviewed the progress of various yatri-centric mega infrastructure projects such as skywalk, retrofitting and remodeling of Parvati Bhawan, and expansion of Atka area.

The CEO SMVDSB informed the board that the prestigious projects underway at the bhawan were being expedited and were likely to be completed prior to the Shardiya Navratras.

He also apprised the board about various steps initiated for averting crisscross movement of the yatris for a hassle free darshan experience.

The CEO was directed to expedite construction and redevelopment of Shankaracharya temple along with the creation of track and allied facilities and emphasised 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 recognise outstanding performers), 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 the board’s peripheral institutions like gurukul, hospital, sports complex and college of nursing (being managed under the SMVD society).

On the sidelines of the meeting, the LG, who is the Chairman of SMVDSB laid the 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 SMVDSB and released the Dogri translation of Panchtantra by Neelam Sareen.

The meeting was attended by members of the board Mahamandleshwar Swami Vishveshvaranand Giriji Maharaj; Ashok Bhan; Kul Bhushan Ahuja; Neelam Sareen; K K Sharma; Suresh Kumar Sharma, and Raghu K Mehta.

Principal Secretary to LG Dr Mandeep Kumar Bhandari was also present on the occasion.

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