LG chairs the 72nd Board meeting of SMVD Shrine Board

JAMMU, APRIL 03: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today chaired the 72nd Board Meeting of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) at Raj Bhawan.

The meeting was attended by Members of the Board – Mahamandleshwar Shri Swami Vishveshvaranand Giriji Maharaj; Shri Kul Bhushan Ahuja; Shri Baleshwar Rai; Dr Ashok Bhan; Dr Neelam Sareen; Shri K K Sharma; Shri Suresh Kumar Sharma and Shri Raghu K. Mehta. Dr. Mandeep Kumar Bhandari, Principal Secretary to Lt Governor, and Sh Anshul Garg, CEO, SMVDSB also attended the meeting.

The Board reviewed the progress of its various past decisions and, the progress of different developmental initiatives and held extensive deliberations on crucial aspects of pilgrim facilitation, ratified and gave in-principle approvals to as many as 27 agenda items to augment pilgrim services, and ensured the smooth functioning of the Board.

The early start of heli-service in the Jammu-Panchhi sector and Medical College of the Board at Kakryal, construction of different buildings in various Sectors aimed at augmenting capacities, etc. were the major decisions taken at the meeting.

The Board observed that direct helicopter service between Jammu Airport and Panchhi Helipad on the Shrine track will not only bolster emergency response capabilities but also improve the pilgrimage experience of devotees.

The Lt Governor, who is also the Chairman of SMVDSB, reviewed the progress of ongoing works and emphasized on timely completion of all projects for the ease of pilgrimage. The important projects in this regard were ‘New Vaishnavi Bhawan at the shrine’, ‘Cottages (near Sports Stadium), Katra’, ‘Staff Quarters (G+2) at Banganga’, ‘Covered Holding Area at Adhkuwari’, ‘Yatri Facilitation Centre at Railway Station, Katra’, ‘New Yagyashala at Bhawan’, etc.

The Board appreciated the facade lighting project initiated for enhancing the aesthetics/ambiance at Bhawan, Adhkuwari, and Darshani Deodi through a captivating visual spectacle and spiritual enlightenment.

Various new projects were also approved by the Board, which include ‘Construction of Exit Track at Bhawan’, ‘Remodelling of Manokamna Area at Bhawan’, and ’Covered Waiting Area at Darshani Deodi, Banganga’.

The Board appreciated the recent steps taken by the CEO towards the development of different temples in and around Katra under its social support initiatives. The Lt Governor asked the CEO to broaden the ambit of this activity by including the construction of new temples in district Reasi. He asked the CEO to come up with a comprehensive plan for consideration. 

The Board appreciated the Greening initiatives reported by the CEO towards improving the biodiversity and ecological balance of the area. An elaborate ‘Annual Green Plan’ for the year 2024-25 was also approved by the Board. The Board desired that for the environmental vibrancy of Trikuta Hills, the option of aerial survey and seed dispersal through helicopters must also be initiated.

The Lt Governor emphasized evolving a robust pilgrim-feedback mechanism, conventional and innovative means, for fostering continuous improvement in the services being provided by the Board.

Earlier, Anshul Garg, CEO, SMVDSB gave a detailed presentation on the present status of varied activities of the Shrine Board and the action taken for implementation of various decisions of the previous meetings of the Board.

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