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68th Meeting of SMVD Shrine Board: LG releases Silver Souvenir coin, inaugurates e-library

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Jammu: Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, who is the Chairman of Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, today released 20-gram Silver Souvenir coin (999 fineness) ahead of the “Sharad Navratras and Diwali” for millions of devotees worldwide during the 68th meeting of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board here at the Raj Bhavan.

Prior to the release of 20-gram Silver Souvenir coin today, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) had developed 2g, 5g & 10g Gold and Silver coins of guaranteed purity carrying an inscription of the idol of goddess Mata Vaishno Devi Ji. The rates of the coins depend on the denomination chosen and the prevailing gold/silver rates. These coins are available at souvenir shops at Bhawan, Jammu Airport, Katra and Vaishnavi Dham Jammu.

In addition, the Lt Governor also e-inaugurated a digital library established at SGC Katra with the aim to ease out the difficulty in finding out information from voluminous books.

The meeting was attended by the Board Members – H. H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar; Dr. Ashok Bhan; Justice (Retd) Permod Kohli; K. K. Sharma;  Maj. Gen. (Retd) Shiv Kumar Sharma; K. B. Kachru and Vijay Dhar in person and through virtual mode.

The Lieutenant Governor, while chairing the meeting of the Shrine Board, reviewed pilgrim-centric infrastructural facilities put in place by the Board.

He emphasised the need for extending the best possible facilities for the visiting pilgrims in sync with the emerging requirements with special focus on cleanliness and hygiene.

To begin with, the Board reviewed the Yatra statistics of the year and discussed various measures which may be taken to further increase the yatra which steeply declined due to Covid-19 resurgence.

A brief appraisal of the SMVDNS Hospital, SMVD Nursing College, SMVD Gurukul and SMVD Sports Complex was also given in the meeting.

While extensively reviewing the status of the ongoing mega projects for the convenience of the pilgrims, the Board directed the CEO for the completion of Durga Bhawan within a period of 12 months, that is, by August 2022.

The Board also reviewed the status of the underground cabling project, from Katra to Bhawan and the surrounding areas, which already stands allotted to M/s. JSP, a Ghaziabad-based company by the PDD of J&K Government. This high utility project will have SCADA compliance-based monitoring system of the electric network. With the implementation of this project, the existing LT/HT overhead electricity lines will be replaced by Underground Cabling to ensure uninterrupted power supply along the track and in the Bhawan area.

Taking an extensive review of the project, the Board directed for the completion of these projects in time-bound manner. While reviewing the progress of the ongoing project, the Board also directed the CEO to conceive an advertisement policy on the track to be displayed on the Hi-tech Video Walls to be installed on the track leading to the holy shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji.

During the meeting, the Board approved a Grant-in-Aid for the FY 2021-22 to SMVD Charitable Society which includes SMVDIME, SMVD Gurukul, SMVDNS Hospital, SMVD Sports Complex and SMVD College of Nursing.

The Board took stock of the functioning of the Call Centre established with an initiative towards optimum utilization and dispersion of real-time information of the facilities created for the pilgrims. The initiative aimed at providing much-needed assistance to the pilgrims to plan their visit to this most revered holy shrine, keeping in view the prevailing weather conditions.

The Board reviewed the major achievements of the Action Plan of the Annual Greening Plan 2020-2021. Several significant decisions towards employees’ welfare, including modifications in the policy towards compassionate appointments, incentives for acquiring higher qualifications were also taken. The Board also approved the re-designation of the officers on deputation to the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board.

Deliberations were held on the long pending demand of the public for the completion of Shankaracharya Temple in Katra town, besides the development of connectivity to the temple as well as allied facilities. The CEO was directed to proceed further in this regard.

Ramesh Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, SMVDSB gave a detailed presentation on the latest status of varied activities of the Board and action taken on the implementation of various decisions of the previous meetings of the Board.

It was informed that the new digital library inaugurated today would reduce the huge expenditure in maintaining the manual one. It is also highly beneficial for the students and faculty of Gurukul, SMVDCoN, officers, staff of Shrine Board as well as local public, students etc, as it has been structured with quick search facilities and various multimedia streaming technique.

Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary; Nitishwar Kumar, Principal Secretary to the Lieutenant Governor; and Vivek Verma, Additional Chief Executive Officer, SMVDSB also attended the meeting in person and through virtual mode.

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