Jammu: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha Saturday sought to allay the apprehensions of protesting Katra residents over the ropeway from Tarakote to Sanjhi Chhat saying that a committee was constituted to hold consultations with them (as stakeholders).
He reassured them that they would be taken on board as equal stakeholders while implementing the project and nothing would be done to adversely impact their interests.
LG Sinha was responding to related media queries after inaugurating the newly constructed Durga Bhawan at the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine.
“A ropeway from Tarakote to Sanjhi Chhat will come up soon. I assure the local people, traders, and all the stakeholders that the ropeway facility will be provided to only elderly, sick, and specially-abled devotees. We have kept a limited capacity of devotees per day. There will be no impact on the livelihood of traders, business community, and ponywalas,” he said.
“It’s not mere contemplation. The project has already moved beyond it. Pre-bid consultation has already been completed. There are certain apprehensions in the minds of Katra residents. We want to remove those apprehensions. We want to bring them (people as stakeholders) on board. Whatever will be done, it will be done in consultation with them (people). They are going to be the ultimate and major beneficiaries of this project," the Lieutenant Governor, who is also the chairperson of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB), said, in reply to a query about resentment the proposed project has evoked among locals leading to protests.
“Many physically challenged, elderly people from across the country desire to visit the shrine to pay obeisance but they cannot. I’m sure our friends (protesting people) will appreciate these issues,” he said.
The LG said that a committee was constituted to discuss and resolve all the concerns of the stakeholders.
“In this connection we have constituted a committee also comprising the Divisional Commissioner, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) and other officials. They will hold deliberations with the (protesting) people and consult them. I’m fully confident that we will be able to find an amicable solution to this issue very soon,” he said.
When asked as to when the project will begin, LG Sinha quipped, “Once the issue is resolved, we will tell you not only the date as to when it is going to start but will let you the date of its inauguration as well.”
“The re-construction of Durga Bhawan will facilitate the pilgrims visiting the shrine in the days to come, particularly those visiting from this Chaitra Navtras. This is well-equipped to accommodate around 3000 people on a daily basis. This is a remarkable achievement that it has been constructed in a record 18 months despite all odds in the form of challenging weather and equally difficult topography,” he said while responding to questions related to the newly constructed facility for pilgrims.