New Delhi: Going in line with the unlock guidelines of the Central government, the Jammu and Kashmir administration on Friday allowed 15,000 pilgrims per day to pay obeisance at the cave shrine of Mata Vaishnodevi from November 1. Prior to this, only 7,000 pilgrims were allowed to visit the shrine due to COVID-19 restrictions. Also Read - Govt Asks Wikipedia to Remove Link that Shows Wrong Map of Jammu and Kashmir
Issuing fresh guidelines, the J-K Administration said that the instructions given earlier will continue to remain in force till November 30. Also Read - Operation All-Out in Kashmir: Forces And Civil Society Need to Kill Terrorism's Psyche
“As such, in exercise of powers conferred under the disaster management act, the State Executive Committee hereby orders that the guidelines and instructions shall continue to remain valid till 30.11.2020, subject to the following modifications that instead of a ceiling of 7000, the upper limit for permissible number of pilgrims to SMVD Shrine, Katra, shall be 15000 from November 1,”the order from J-K Administration said. Also Read - Shehla Rashid Reacts To Her Estranged Father's Charges, Calls Them 'Absolutely Baseless'
The cave shrine of Mata Vaishnodevi shrine atop Trikuta hills was reopened on August 16 after a gap of nearly five months due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Initially, the administration imposed a cap of 2,000 pilgrims daily, including 100 from outside Jammu and Kashmir.
The board officials said the registration of pilgrims will continue to be done online to avoid people gathering at the yatra registration counters.
They said accommodation facilities of the board at the bhawan, Adhkuwari, Katra and Jammu are open for the pilgrims following all prescribed SOPs.
All other supplementary facilities set up by the board such as battery-operated vehicles, passenger ropeway and helicopter services are also operating smoothly by strictly following social distancing norms and other precautionary measures, the officials said.
(With inputs from PTI)