SMVDSB announces accommodation for 4000 pilgrims at Bhawan

SMVDSB meeting being chaired by Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu in Jammu on Thursday.
SMVDSB meeting being chaired by Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu in Jammu on Thursday.

Series of welfare measures for staff

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Dec 5: Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) today announced series of significant decisions including construction of accommodation for 4000 pilgrims in Bhawan area and an exit track besides new queue management system at Bhawan and Bhairon Ghati.
The Board in its 65th meeting which was chaired by Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu, his first after taking over as the LG, reduced term employment period of the staff from seven to three years, higher pay scales and in-situ promotion for the employees. It also announced measures to overcome stagnation among the employees.
An official statement issued by the Raj Bhawan after the meeting said mega Durga Bhawan will be constructed at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi ji Bhawan, which will accommodate 4000 pilgrims. This will be the first such accommodation in the Bhawan premises.
“Inlet queue management system at Bhawan and Bhairon Ghati and exit track at Bhawan will also be constructed,” the statement said, adding estimated cost of implementation of first phase of Bhawan Master Plan will cost around Rs 90 crore.
The Board approved Annual Green Plan for the year 2020-21.
The Board announced significant decisions for welfare of the employees by ratifying reduction of term employment period from seven to three years and endorsed higher pay scale scheme for in-situ promotion for the Board employees. It accepted recommendations of the Personnel Matters Committee regarding much awaited re-structuring of several cadres intended at reducing stagnation of several cadres.
“To begin with, the General, Sanitation, Medical/Nursing and the Catering Cadres have been approved for restructuring,” the statement said, adding the Board also announced setting up of the Employees Welfare Fund which entails initial contribution towards the corpus from the Shrine Board and thereafter regular contributions from all employees every month.
The Lt Governor, while welcoming the Members of the Board, complimented the former Chairman, Satya Pal Malik and earlier Board Members and lauded their commitment and valuable contributions in creating and continually upgrading facilities for convenience of the pilgrims.
He directed the CEO to ensure that all the projects be completed as per the envisaged timelines for largely facilitating the pilgrims.
The Board reviewed the Yatra statistics of the year and discussed various measures which may be taken to further increase the number of pilgrims visiting the Shrine.
While reviewing various pilgrim-centric infrastructural facilities put in place by the Board, the Chairman emphasised the need for ensuring that the yatris are provided increasingly best possible arrangements in sync with the emerging requirements. A brief appraisal of the University, Hospital, Nursing College, Gurukul and Sports Complex was also given in the meeting.
The meeting reviewed the present status of the installation of CCTV Surveillance System on the entire track from Darshani Deodi to Bhawan which will be implemented on turnkey basis. Once in place, this system will not only help in monitoring the movement of the pilgrims and strengthening overall security measures, it will also be of immense support in case of any emergent situations to provide real time assistance to Shrine and local administration.
The Board also reviewed the status of the underground cabling project, from Katra to Bhawan and the surrounding areas, which already stands allotted to M/s. JSP, a Ghaziabad based company by the PDD of J&K Government.
The meeting was apprised that the work has begun on the project from Tarakote Marg, and it will take 24 months for completion. Estimated to cost Rs 78 crore, the project will be partly funded under the PMDP and partly by the Shrine Board. This high utility project will have SCADA compliance based monitoring system of the electric network.
The meeting was attended by all Board Members of SMVDSB – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Dr Ashok Bhan, K B Kachru, K K Sharma, Justice (Retd) Permod Kohli, Maj. Gen. (Retd) Shiv Kumar Sharma and Vijay Dhar ; BVR Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary; Bipul Pathak, Principal Secretary to the Lieutenant Governor; Simrandeep Singh, outgoing Chief Executive Officer of the Shrine Board; Ramesh Kumar, CEO-designate of the Board; Vivek Verma, Additional Chief Executive Officer and M M Gupta, Chief Engineer of the Board.
Earlier, Simrandeep Singh gave a detailed presentation on the present status of varied activities of the Shrine Board and the action taken regarding implementation of various decisions of the previous meetings of the Board.