Jammu: Nearly three weeks after the Vaishno Devi shrine in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district was reopened for pilgrimage, the shrine board has elevated the quota for pilgrims from outside the Union Territory to 500 each day, officers stated on Saturday. The shrine atop the Trikuta hills was reopened on August 16 after a spot of practically 5 months due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. A cap of two,000 pilgrims each day, together with 100 from outside Jammu and Kashmir, was imposed initially.

“The pilgrimage to the cave shrine is proceeding smoothly and picking up pace with each passing day. Keeping this in view, the quota of pilgrims from outside Jammu and Kashmir has been enhanced to 500 per day, out of a ceiling of 2,000 daily, till further orders,” stated Ramesh Kumar, the Chief Executive Officer of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board.

He stated the lodging offered by the shrine board at Bhawan, Adhkuwari, Katra and Jammu have additionally been opened for the pilgrims, by following all prescribed commonplace working procedures (SoPs) due to the pandemic.

All different supplementary services for the consolation of pilgrims, akin to battery-operated autos, passenger ropeway and helicopter companies, are additionally working easily by strictly following the social distancing norms and different precautionary measures, Kumar stated.

“Besides the meals stalls within the shrine space en route to Bhawan, free group kitchen at Tarakote Marg and ‘prasad Kendra’ at Sanjichhat have additionally been operationalised by the board for the pilgrims,” he stated.

He stated on-line reserving for ‘Shradha Suman Vishesh Pooja’ has additionally commenced.

The pilgrims are allowed to undertake the pilgrimage after registration by on-line mode solely. This has been performed to keep away from meeting of individuals on the registration counters, officers stated.

According to them, it’s also obligatory for the pilgrims to put on face masks and to endure thermal scanning on the entry factors.

Children beneath the age of 10 years, pregnant girls, individuals with co-morbidities and people above 60 years have been suggested to keep away from endeavor the pilgrimage for their security from contracting the coronavirus an infection, the officers stated.

They stated COVID-19 take a look at experiences of pilgrims from outside Jammu and Kashmir and people from ‘Red Zone’ districts of the Union Territory are being checked on the helipad and the ‘yatra’ entry factors of Darshani Deodi, Banganga and Katra.

Only these with detrimental experiences are allowed to transfer past the entry factors, the officers stated.