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66th Meeting of SMVDSB: Lt Governor for massive sanitation measures in view of coronavirus

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JAMMU, MARCH 20: The 66th meeting of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board was held at the Raj Bhavan here today under the chairmanship of the Lieutenant Governor, Girish Chandra Murmu, Chairman of the Shrine Board.

H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (who attended the meeting through video conferencing), Dr. Ashok Bhan, Justice (Retd) Permod Kohli and Maj. Gen. (Retd) Shiv Kumar Sharma, K. K. Sharma, all Board Members; Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar, Advisor to the Lt Governor; BVR Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary; Atal Dulloo, Financial Commissioner, Health and Medical Education; Ramesh Kumar, Chief Executive Officer of the Shrine Board; and Vivek Verma, Additional Chief Executive Officer participated in the deliberations.

The Lt. Governor, while welcoming the Members of the Board, complimented them for their valuable contributions in creating and continually upgrading facilities for convenience of the pilgrims.

At the outset, the meeting reviewed the timely and necessary precautionary measures taken by the Board in view of the outbreak of coronavirus for ensuring the safety of the visiting pilgrims, staff and the public in general. The meeting lauded these pro-active initiatives viz. installation of bilingual hoardings on the track from Katra to Bhawan, distributing pamphlets among the pilgrims, making announcements in regard to the advisories on the Multipurpose Audio System in the Shrine area for the information of the pilgrims, making available Self Declaration Forms at Yatra Registration Counters, Enquiry and Registration Counter, Helipad Terminals and all accommodation complexes of the Board, deploying Thermal Image Scanners at Yatra entry points of Banganga, Tarakote and Katra Helipad for screening of pilgrims, regularly using and spraying disinfectants all along the track, accommodations, bhojanalayas, toilet blocks, queues, railings, door handles as well as providing face masks, hand sanitizers and disinfectants to all units of the Board.

As the yatra has been suspended w.e.f. 18 March, 2020, the Lt. Governor emphasized that pooja, aarti and other rituals at the Shrine should be performed as usual. He directed for continuing the massive sanitation drive at Katra as well as on the track and in the entire Shrine area.

The meeting took stock of the various projects taken up and accomplished by the Board for the benefit of the society at large, such as establishment of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, Gurukul, Superspeciality Hospital and the Nursing College, besides taking various social support initiatives and gave in-principle approval to the proposal for creation of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Charitable Society to manage non-pilgrimage activities of the Board.

The Board also reviewed the functioning of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Kakryal and was apprised that the hospital, which is already empanelled under CGHS and ECHS, is also being empanelled under Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, shortly.

The Board also reviewed the progress of major projects of the Shrine Board, especially related to the protection and treatment of hill slopes. Two proposals in this regard were approved by the Board at an estimated cost of about Rs. 9 crore.

The Board while taking review of Prasad Sewa operationalised at Sanjichhat recently, emphasized that the efforts need to be further intensified on continuing basis for extending all possible facilities for the pilgrims.

Earlier, Ramesh Kumar gave a detailed presentation on the latest status of varied activities of the Shrine Board and the action taken in regard to the implementation of various decisions of the previous meetings of the Board.

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