New Delhi: After nearly five months of shutting down due to COVID-19 pandemic, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Yatra is all set to resume from August 16 with necessary restrictions in place, the Jammu and Kashmir administration announced on Friday. Also Read - 'How Long Can a Person be Detained?' Supreme Court Asks Jammu and Kashmir Administration on Iltija Mufti's Plea
Notably, the J&K government issued a notice on August 4. Also Read - Supreme Court to Hear on Tuesday Petition by Iltija, Seeking Release of Mother Mehbooba Mufti
Preparations have already begun. The Vaishno Devi temple premises are being regularly sanitised and all the norms amid the COVID-19 pandemic are in place to welcome pilgrims, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board said. Also Read - DNA Samples of 3 Men Killed in Shopian Encounter Match With Families From Rajouri: J&K Police
The temple board will also release its own Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) soon.
Here are the guidelines:
1. A maximum of 500 pilgrims per day will be permitted from outside Jammu and Kashmir.
2. Pilgrims visiting the shrine will be allowed in a graded manner.
3. Registration of pilgrims should be made only through online mode to avoid any assembly of persons at current counters.
4. Installation and use of Aarogya Setu App is mandatory for all pilgrims.
5. Religious processions and large religious gatherings continue to be prohibited in the union territory.
Resumption of Vaishno Devi Yatra also brings in a relief for the Jammu and Kashmir economy as it brings employment scope to the temple town of Katra.
However, a resident said that the government should allow more people to the shrine from outside the Union Territory if they produce a COVID-19 negative certificate.