RFID cards, Durga Bhawan and a new Board, Mata Vaishno Devi Yatra to get safer for pilgrims

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Shweta Routh
Shweta Routh
Shweta Routh is a third-year student at KIIT University's School of Mass Communication. Her ambition is to become a good journalist and serve her country. She is a classical dancer who enjoys meeting new people and trying new things.

The central government and the Jammu and Kashmir administration has taken significant steps to ensure the safety of pilgrims to the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine. According to the reports, the administration of Jammu and Kashmir and the central government will soon introduce Radio Frequency Identity Card (RFID). The aim of introducing RFID is to check the flow of Mata’s devotees visiting the shrine and to make sure all the required major steps are taken in case of a crisis. RFID is a wireless technology that works through radio waves and will be used for tracking pilgrims. Encrypted information, serial numbers, and short descriptions will be carried by high-memory tags like those designed for use in the aviation industry. 

This initiative would aid in recognition of pilgrim flow and the implementation of corrective measures in the event of overcrowding along the yatra route. These initiatives were taken after the Stampede in Vaishno Devi temple on New Year 2022. 

The officials also stated that the construction of the “Durga Bahwan” is being accelerated to avoid any overcrowding at the revered temple complex, which is seeing an increase in pilgrims every day. Around 2,000 yatris can be accommodated in Bhawan.

The Stampede at Vaishno Devi

A stampede took place at the legendary Mata Vaishno Devi on January 1, 2022. During the Stampede, twelve pilgrims died, and a handful were injured. As per the reports, the Stampede was sparked by a “minor conflict among some young boys” during a massive rush of devotees on New Year’s Day. According to media reports, the Stampede occurred at Gate 3 of the shrine.

The authorities got into the action as soon as possible and had already taken all the major steps to provide relief to the pilgrims at Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine. Jammu and Kashmir’s lieutenant governor, Manoj Sinha, had announced an immediate ex gratia compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the families of the deceased and Rs 2 lakh to the injured. As well, it was announced that the board would bear all the treatment costs of pilgrims. 

A three-member committee was formed to investigate the matter and was given a week to submit a report. The board has also issued a helpline number during the Stampede.

Several men and women are said to have fallen, and people walked over them to get away from the chaos. According to officials, the rush of devotees entering and exiting the temple converged near the narrow gate, causing a suffocating crush as people tried to flee the area. 

According to the reports, the 12 people killed in the Stampede included seven pilgrims from Uttar Pradesh and three from Delhi. 

According to reports, a minor landslide occurred on the new track leading to the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine on Wednesday due to heavy rainfall. Due to bad weather, helicopter services were also cancelled. This happened after the Stampede occurred. 

The Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board is re-constituted

The J&K government, on March 22, re-constituted the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board earlier this month, adding eight new members to the board.

It was re-constituted per the powers imparted under Section 5(1)(b), Section 7 and Section 10 of the J&k Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Act, 1988. Manoj Sinha, the Chairman of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB), re-constituted the Board and appointed the Members of the board for a time period of three years.

 Dr Neelam Sareen, Mahamandeshwar Swami Vishveshvaranand Giriji Maharaj, Kul Bushan Ahuja, Dr Ashok Bhan, IPS (Retd.), K.K. Sharma, Suresh Kumar Sharma (Retd. Judge), Baleshwar Rai, IAS (Retd.), and Raghu K. Mehta are among the eight new board members. 

Manoj Sinha, the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, issued a notification on March 15 announcing the decision.

Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine’s Pratham Pujari died of a heart attack

According to reports, Amir Chand, the legendary Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine’s chief priest, died of a heart attack at his home in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district on Saturday.

 Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha expressed his sorrow over the priest’s death.

Vaishno Mata’s History

According to a study conducted by geologists, the Mata Vaishno Devi temple is very old. According to legend, Mata Vaishno Devi was incarnated as a beautiful princess in the Treta Yuga for the welfare of humanity as a Shakti of Mother Parvati, Saraswati, and Lakshmi. In the cave on Trikuta Mountain, she performed penances. When the time came, her body merged into the astral forms of the three divine energies; Mahakali, Mahalakshmi, and Mahasaraswati.


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