Shiv Khori Cave Shrine of Jammu holds a unique importance both in respect of spiritualism as well as tourism angles. Situated at a distance of nearly 130 kms from Jammu in District Reasi, this shrine unfortunately stands ignored in respect of the development of the location as also providing better facilities to the pilgrims. Many vital projects are lying in a state of utter neglect and the present dispensation seems to be having an indifferent approach towards giving the desired push to them let alone ensuring their completion in time.
The astonishing aspect of the scenario is that even a “talk” is not made not to speak of the “walk” in the matter. In other words, for the last more than 18 months, not even one meeting of the Shrine Board has been convened. The meetings to be necessarily held intermittently are important to appraise and review the status of the decisions taken in previous meetings and to suggest action plan with intent to register development of the Shrine area.
Progress about the decisions taken in 9th and 10th meetings held under the chairmanship of the Divisional Commissioner and Minister of State Ajay Nanda in September and December 2016 respectively in respect of the cable car project for the Shrine area and other developmental works have remained more or less on papers only. As regards approach road to the helipad for start of helicopter service either from Jammu or Katra to the Shrine base camp, construction of sewage treatment plant to cater to the sanitation needs of the area, introduction of e- rickshaws and the like continue to remain unaddressed. It means that there is no concern for providing comparatively better facilities to the pilgrims nor for providing even minimal infrastructural development of the Shrine area. How can the tourist inflow increase and the resultant revenue there from in whatever form.
Providing helicopter services for the pilgrim tourists is directly related to constructions of helipad as that is the obvious prime condition of the aviation companies. Cable car project in the same way would have been an added attraction and could have generated revenue as well but the projects are in dormant mode as of now. Not only doing practically nothing about these projects, there are no reasons either given for the total non seriousness about development of this famous revered cave shrine of Jammu division.
It is hoped that, to start with, the Divisional Commissioner Jammu who happens to be the Chairman of the Shrine Board, Deputy Commissioner Reasi who is the Vice – Chairman of the Board as also the local MLA should stick to the principle of convening of Board meetings at regular intervals and take stock of the messy state of affairs plummeted in the mire of lackadaisical approach of the concerned authorities. It is only through such meetings that different layers of inaptness whether intentional or otherwise can be discussed and measures devised to address them. Once the importance, the reverential aspect and the tourist importance of this historical cave shrine are kept in mind, things shall start moving in the right direction and speedily. Nevertheless, we shall closely be keeping a track of the developments in the subject matter and keep the instances of abject neglect and callousness airing through these columns.