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Vaishno Devi shrine to get ropeway

Sameer Bhasin  |  Jammu 

The richest autonomous temple board of the Jammu and Kashmir, Sri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, has decided to construct a passenger ropeway connecting the bhawan, the abode of Mata Vashno Devi, with the Bhairon Temple, popularly known as Bhairon Ghati.
The 450-metre-long proposed ropeway is likely to cost Rs 18 crore. The project will be financed by the board itself. "If required, the board will approach outside agencies to finance the project," said Rohit Kansal, chief executive officer of the shrine board.
"After visiting the cave shrine, fatigued pilgrims seldom go to the Bhairon Temple. To make the visit to the Bhairon Temple easier, the board has decided to set up a ropeway project," said Kansal. Of the 5.6 million pilgrims to the shrine in 2003-04, very few visited the Bhairon Temple, he added.
The shrine board, which has already approved the preliminary report on the project, is in talks with the (RITES), a central government concern, to chalk out modalities and take the proposal forward.
The board is awaiting a project report from the RITES. "Construction will be taken up within a couple of months," said Kansal.
He, however, refused to disclose further details like the type of cable cars, saying "these were the job of consultants and only they can decide about such technicalities".
Apart from maintaining the main shrine and related temples, the board provides facilities to pilgrims along the 13 km long trek.

First Published: Wed, June 09 2004. 00:00 IST