Jammu: President Ram Nath Kovind and First Lady Savita Kovind on Thursday paid obeisance at Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine before ending their two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, praying for progress and prosperity of the people of the country, an official statement said.
The President and his wife were also accompanied by Governor N.N. Vohra and Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Kumar Singh.
“During his brief visit the President went around the Shrine complex, viewed the facilities and met the pilgrims.
“The Governor, who is Chairman of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, briefed the President about the continuing initiatives being taken for upgrading and expanding the infrastructure for facilitating the progressively increasing number of pilgrims to the holy shrine,” the statement said.
Vohra said that a Master Plan has been prepared for the shrine and the extended shrine area to provide planned accommodation for pilgrims at Bhawan, Adhkuwari, Katra and Jammu and Durga Bhawan is being re-constructed to enhance accommodation facilities for pilgrims at the Bhawan.
The President was also told that the water supply is being augmented, all the lights along the track and in the shrine have been replaced with LED lights and health care facilities for the pilgrims have been strengthened.
On the various social support initiatives taken by the Board, especially in the education and health sectors, the Governor referred to the establishment of Superspeciality Hospital, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University and College of Nursing at Kakryal and Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Gurukul at Charanpaduka, involving an investment of nearly Rs 1,000 crore.
On the upcoming major infrastructure projects, he told Kovind that the Passenger Ropeway between Bhawan and Bhairon Ghati and Material Ropeway between Siar Dabri and Bhawan are nearing completion, while the Slope Stabilisation Project and setting up Shelter Sheds for ensuring safety of the pilgrims against falling stones and landslides and, besides, the upcoming Tarakote Marg which will cost about Rs 80 crore.
Also focus on environmental preservation continued to be accorded very high priority and towards this, plantation of Trikuta Hills has been undertaken on very large scale and green technologies are being utilized, Vohra added.
The President later returned to New Delhi.