Vaishno Devi pilgrimage: Ropeway announced

Vaishno Devi to get 1,281-metre ropeway from Katra to Adhkuwari

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Pilgrims to India’s 700-year-old Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Jammu will soon be able to cover part of the mountainous trek by means of ropeway.

The shrine’s board has this week given approval to a much-awaited proposal to construct a 1,281-metre long ropeway between Katra and Adhkuwari.

The trek between is 6 km long.

One of the holiest of Hindu temples, Vaishno Devi is located at Katra town in Jammu district. It is situated at an altitude of 5,200 feet, about 12 km from Katra.

The proposal was approved in the 69th meeting of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, presided over by the board Chairman Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha.

Sharing details, Delhi-based shrine board member K.K. Sharma of AIMIL Pharmaceuticals Ltd revealed that the proposal had been in consideration for a long time.

“It was way back in 2012, in the 51st meeting, that the board had decided to conduct a study with RITES Ltd, a railway undertaking, to explore the possibilities of a ropeway,” he reported. “RITES submitted its report to the board in 2017 which found it suitable for the construction of the ropeway between Katra and Adhkuwari. Since then, this proposal for a Vaishno Devi ropeway (lay) pending, and was approved in the first meeting of the newly constituted board held on this week.”

As per the proposal, 1,281.20-metre long ropeway will be constructed with a maximum height of 590.75 metres. It will have the capacity to carry 1,500 people one way per hour, with each cabin having a capacity of eight persons.

While its construction is estimated at Rs 94.23 crore, RITES says 63 per cent of the operating cost can be recovered if the per passenger travel fee is kept at Rs 200.
Sharma said the construction would start soon.

The pilgrim footfall at the shrine was over 5,577,000 in 2021, up significantly from 17,00,000 the previous year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

READ ALSO: How Vaishno Devi inspired this wheelchair-bound woman to travel the world solo

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