Katra (J&K), Dec 21 (PTI) The Bhawan-Bhairon passenger ropeway project, which aims to make travel easier for Mata Vaishnodevi pilgrims, will be inaugurated on December 24, officials said Friday.

“The Bhawan-Bhairon passenger ropeway project will be commissioned on Monday and it will be operational for the pilgrims visiting the cave shrine in Trikuta hills of Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district”, CEO of Shri Mata Vaishnodevi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) Simrandeep Singh told PTI.

Singh said the trial runs have been successful, with respect to “run, loads, safety system and emergency mechanism. The system certificate has also been issued, officials said.

“Governor Satya Pal Malik will inaugurate the ropeway project on December 24”, the CEO said. The ropeway project works had been undertaken by the joint venture of Garaventa AG, Switzerland and Damodar Ropeways Construction Co (P) Ltd, Kolkata, under the supervision of RITES.

The equipment and cabins of the ropeway have been imported from Switzerland, Singh said, adding the system was being fully equipped in accordance to safety regulations.

The ropeway has a carrying capacity of 800 persons per hour and pilgrims to the cave shrine will be able to comfortably pay obeisance at Bhaironji Temple which was earlier difficult, particularly for the elderly and specially-abled, owing to the steep climb to an altitude of 6,600 feet, officials said.

The trial and testing of the project formally began on November 26 and has concluded, said Singh. Besides trial and testing of the passenger ropeway, mock rescue and evacuation drills were conducted, simultaneously the shrine board staffers have been trained for the same, officials said.

The disaster management task force (DMTF) of the shrine board had organised rescue and evacuation drills. The director security and enforcement Suresh Sharma, along with a platoon of ‘sahayaks’ and a section of SDRF team from Reasi, participated in the rescue drills last week.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.