New track to Mata Vaishno Devi shuts, chopper service remains suspended

JAMMU: New track to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi cave shrine has been closed due to shooting stones and felling of trees due to bad weather while chopper service remained suspended for the second consecutive day in Reasi District.
“In view of continuous rains in the hilly terrain, shooting stones triggered near Hemkoti on the new track (Battery car track) to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Cave Shrine during wee hours,” an official here said and added that trees also uprooted due to windstorm, which led closure of the track.
He also said that the track was shut for the pilgrims adding that no injury has been reported. “If the weather improves by tomorrow, the track will be thrown open for pilgrimage after clearance,” he added.
He further said that the chopper service from Katra to Sanjhi Chhat also remained suspended for the second consecutive day due to inclement weather and fog in the hills.
An official said that around 10,000 to 12,000 pilgrims are daily visiting Katra town to pay obeisance at the Cave Shrine.”Yatra from old traditional route is in progress,” he asserted. Pertinent to mention here is that the Cave was thrown open for the devotees on January 14 (Makarsakranti) due to decline in rush. (AGENCIES)