Over 700 CCTVs to Keep Surveillance Enroute Vaishno Devi: CEO

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JAMMU: To have a comprehensive review of security and operational preparedness of the shrine for hassle-free pilgrimage prior to the onset of the New Year 2024, Chief Executive Officer Anshul Garg on Saturday presided over a meeting with security agencies and other stakeholders at Spiritual Growth Centre, Katra.

The Chief Executive Officer emphasised that the New Year 2024 is approaching closer, and the Board is anticipating a significant influx of pilgrims from various parts of the country and abroad to the holy shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji, Besides, at the base camp Katra, he stressed the need for synergy between all stakeholders.

Laying focus on the smooth regulation of Yatra in line with the directions of Chairman SMVDSB (Lt. Governor, JK-UT), CEO said that apart from the deployment of security personnel, CCTVs will be acting as watchdogs en route to Bhawan and Katra.

Besides, the stakeholders shall ensure that the pilgrims, before embarking on the yatra, wear a valid RFID card at all times, as they are linked with various facilities during the yatra, and no pilgrim shall be allowed to start the yatra without a valid RFID card.

He further enjoined upon representatives of security agencies deployed at all entry points to remain more vigilant so that no pilgrim without frisking and registration enters the track for their pilgrimage.

The Chief Executive Officer stressed action on diverse fronts for hassle-free pilgrimage by 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 area at Parvati Bhawan at Bhawan having facilities like lockers, washrooms, and waiting halls, strict regulation of entry and exit routes at Bhawan, and all-time surveillance through a dedicated CCTV network of over 700 cameras.

The CEO also reviewed various components of the disaster management measures and directed them to make regular announcements to decongest the crowd on the track.

A slew of directives were also issued by the Chair to the concerned quarters for the movement of vehicles, sanitation and drinking water arrangements, and illumination of dark spots in Katra town, as well as physical and systematic improvements wherever required after critical examination.

He further stressed the need for security agencies and other stakeholders to verify and conduct a census of pony porters to thwart any suspicious elements on the track.

In the meeting, Mohd Suleman Choudhary, DIG Udhampur-Reasi Range, highlighted major challenges for the deployed security forces in the coming days in managing the expected influx of pilgrims on the New Year. He briefed that additional forces, as per request, shall be deployed in and around Katra and on the track enroute Bhawan in coordination with other security agencies to ensure security and effective Yatra management.

SSP Reasi and Commandant CRPF presented a detailed security grid to be put in place and discussed various security measures going to be placed at the onset of the new year en route to the Holy Shrine, besides the deployment of QRTs (quick response teams) and a multi-tier security grid comprising police, CRPF, and other paramilitary forces. (UNI)

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