The Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board had been preparing to resume yatras and now the official date has been announced. The J&K administration announced that the religious Yatras would be resumed on August 16 with proper safety guidelines in place. The pilgrimage to the shrine was suspended on March 18 in view of COVID-19 pandemic.
Ramesh Kumar, CEO of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, said in the first week, a maximum of 2,000 pilgrims per day, but majority will be from J&K. According to Kumar, 1,900 pilgrims will be allowed from J&K and the remaining 100 will be from outside J&K. The pilgrims must register online before going on the pilgrimage, which will avoid gatherings at the Yatra Registration Counters.
The temple premises are being regularly sanitised and all COVID norms are in place to welcome pilgrims.
What are the rules?
- Pilgrims must install Aarogya Setu App on their smartphones before beginning the yatra
- Pilgrims must wear face mask at all times
- Pilgrims will be scanned through Thermal Image Scanners at entry points
- Anyone aged 10 years or below, pregnant women, persons with co-morbidities and persons above the age of 60 years are advised to avoid the Yatra
- Yatra will move in uni-directional manner to avoid chaos
- The route to the Yatra is from Katra to Bhawan via Banganga, Adhkuwari and Sanjichhat while going up and Himkoti route-Tarakote Marg will be used for coming back from the Bhawan
- Pilgrims outside J&K, and in red zone in J&K must provide COVID-19 negative report to be allowed to the Bhawan
- Free Langar at Tarakote Marg and Prasad Kendra at Sanjichhat will be opened for the facility of pilgrims
- Battery Operated Vehicles, Passenger Ropeway and Helicopter services will be operated with proper social distancing