SMVDSB reviews preparedness to cope with peak summer rush

CEO of SMVD Shrine Board taking a review meeting on Saturday.

Excelsior Correspondent

KATRA, May 20: With the onset of the summer holidays in many states across the country, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board is anticipating heavy rush of devotees at the Holy Shrine over the next couple of months and thus gearing up with the foolproof measures to ensure the best pilgrimage experience to the visiting devotees.
In this regard, to have a comprehensive review of security and operational preparedness of the Shrine area, Anshul Garg, Chief Executive Officer, presided over a meeting with security agencies today at Spiritual Growth Centre, Katra.
The meeting was attended by SSP Reasi; SP Katra; Commandant, CRPF; Jt Chief Executive Officers, SMVDSB; Sub Divisional Magistrate, Bhawan & Katra; Dy Director, Subsidiary IB; Asstt Chief Executive Officers, SMVDSB; Asstt Director, Fire & Emergency Services; SDPO Katra & Bhawan and other officers from IB, CID, Army, SMVDSB and intelligence agencies.
The CEO underscored that as summer holidays are inching closer in the country and the Shrine being a revered destination is expecting heavy influx of the devotees at the Holy Shrine besides at the base camp Katra, action is needed on diverse fronts for hassle free pilgrimage during coming days. Issuance and verification of RFID cards, effective crowd management, augmentation of holding areas on the track and in Katra town, working out plans for decongestion of the entire track, particularly the Bhawan area, separation of entry, exit routes at Bhawan and all time surveillance through dedicated CCTV network of over 700 cameras were discussed. He further exhorted that all agencies deployed at all entry points should remain more vigilant so that no yatri without frisking and registration enters the track for their pilgrimage.
He further stressed the security agencies and other stakeholders upon verification and census of pony porters besides any suspicious element on the track.
In addition, the CEO also reviewed in detail various components of the Disaster Management measures. Besides, he directed for regular announcements for the decongestion of the crowd on the track.
In the meeting, SSP Reasi highlighted major challenges for the deployed security forces in coming days for managing the expected influx of pilgrims. He briefed that ample deployment of forces is already in place and beat system is prevailing at Bhawan in coordination with SMVDSB and other security agencies.