Trial for Vaishno Devi ropeway to begin from May 25

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BHAWAN (VAISHNODEVI): A ropeway to the cave shrine of Mata Vaishnodevi in Trikuta hills of Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district will undergo trial runs for nearly 20 days from May 25 under a team of experts, a senior official said here on Thursday.

The ropeway is likely to become functional in June, he added.

He also said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate Tarakote Marg, an alternate seven km track to the Vaishno Devi shrine, on May 19.

“The trial run for Bhawan-Bhairon Ghati Passenger Ropeway Project, which is at an advanced stage of completion, will begun from May 25 under a team of foreign experts,” Additional CEO of Shri Mata Vaishnodevi Shrine Board (SMVDSB), Dr M K Kumar told PTI.

He said the trial runs will be on till June 15 and aspects like “successful run, loads, safety system and emergency mechanism and system certification” will be evaluated. A partial trial run on the sector was done yesterday and it was successful, he added.

The work on this highly important infrastructure project of the Shrine Board has been undertaken by a joint venture between Garaventa AG, Switzerland and Damodar Ropeways Construction Co (P) Ltd, Kolkata, under the supervision of RITES.

The equipment and cabins of the rope-way have been imported from Switzerland, he said adding the ropeway system was being fully equipped as per relevant safety standards.

The ropeway has a carrying capacity of 800 persons per hour and pilgrims to the cave shrine will be able to pay obeisance at Bhaironji Temple which was earlier difficult, particularly for the elderly and specially-abled, owing to a steep climb to an altitude of 6600 feet, he said.

Similarly, the upcoming material ropeway being installed between Siar Dabri and Bhawan was also at a very advanced stage of completion and expected to be operationalised within the next few days, he said.

The system will free the shrine board from carrying key construction and other materials such as foodstuffs, water, ‘prasad’ etc, the official said.

It will also be used for ferrying waste material to Katra for disposal, he added.

In view of shifting of cabins of the upcoming Bhawan-Bhairon Ghati passenger ropeway from Adhkuwari to Bhawan, the Himkoti Track remained temporarily closed for the movement of pilgrims from 10 May to 14 May, the official said.

The Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board informed that the Yatra will continue to proceed via Adhkuwari-Sanjichhat-Bhawan and Sanjichhat-Bhaironji-Bhawan routes as usual.