Shutdown in Katra against proposed ropeway project : The Tribune India

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Shutdown in Katra against proposed ropeway project

Shutdown in Katra against proposed ropeway project

People have been protesting against the Katra ropeway project. File



Katra/Jammu, December 27

A complete shutdown was observed on Wednesday against a proposed ropeway project in Katra, the base camp for the pilgrims visiting Shri Mata Vaishno Devi shrine atop the Trikuta hills in Reasi district.

Several thousand shopkeepers and other stakeholders also staged a protest rally in the town and dispersed on the assurance of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) that the second meeting will be held with them next month to address their concerns before starting the work on the project.

The pilgrims, meanwhile, had a tough time due to the closure of the market with many of them saying that they were returning without ‘prasad’.

The SMVDSB had approved a Rs 250-crore passenger ropeway project between Tarakote Marg to Sanji Chhat along the 12-km track to the revered shrine.

The shopkeepers and other service providers are apprehensive that the construction of the ropeway will render them jobless. They are also concerned about the ongoing work on the Delhi-Katra Expressway, and said an attempt is being made to connect the road directly to Tarakote and sideline the historic town of Katra.

After taking out a rally in the town, the protesters staged a peaceful sit-in outside the shrine board office and later a group of them met the officials before dispersing off peacefully.

SMVDSB CEO Anshul Garg said the ropeway is meant to facilitate elderly, medically unfit and the physically challenged.

“The ropeway project is a decision of the board to ensure better facilities to the pilgrims due to limited capacity of helicopters and the court’s directive to provide alternate facilities on the track. A meeting is proposed with the stakeholders in January after the year-end rush and all their concerns will be addressed to their best satisfaction,” he said.

He said the work on the Katra-Delhi Expressway is being undertaken by the National Highway Authority of India and the issue could be discussed with the divisional commissioner, Jammu. — PTI 

Meeting soon

The ropeway project is a decision of the board to ensure better facilities to the pilgrims due to limited capacity of helicopters and the court’s directive to provide alternate facilities on the track. A meeting is proposed with the stakeholders in January. — Anshul Garg, CEO, SMVDSB

#Jammu #Reasi #Vaishno Devi


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