The shrine board of Vaishno Devi, one of the most revered Hindu temples situated in Jammu and Kashmir, on Friday approved a ropeway project connecting base camp Katra to the shrine nestled in the Himalayan foothills.
The Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SASB) also decided to have a ropeway from the shrine to Bhairon Temple, a distance of about nine km. The two projects would cost Rs 64 crore. The distance from the base camp to the shrine is about 13 km.
"The establishment of the passenger ropeway between Bhawan (shrine) and Bhairon Temple will cost over Rs 55 crore, while the material ropeway between Siar Dabri (near Katra) and Bhawan would involve an expenditure of about Rs 9 crore," an SASB spokesman said in a release here.
"The work on these projects, expected to commence soon, is targeted to be completed within two years," he added.
The Vaishno Devi temple, which attracts nearly eight million pilgrims every year, is located about 60 km north of Jammu
The board is also constructing an emergency helipad on the lower track between Adhkwari and Bhawan for evacuation of pilgrims in emergency situations like critical illness or injury.