At the request of Governor N N Vohra, Chairman of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB), prime minister has very kindly agreed to formally inaugurate the Tarakote Marg on May 19, an official spokesperson said.
The board had approved in February 2011 Mr Vohra's proposal to construct an alternate track between Banganga and Adhkuwari, to decongest the rush of pilgrims on the existing six km track.
Chief Executive Officer of the board Umang Narula said the new track would be opened to pilgrims from the morning of May 13.
The alternate track, which is six meters wide, has a comfortable gradient and very attractive wayside amenities.
"The Tarakote Marg provides pedestrian pilgrims a cleaner and scenic route which has two 'bhojanalayas', four view points and seven toilet blocks the have been provided with facilities for the convenience of elderly pilgrims and for the specially-abled," the spokesperson said.
He said a medical unit with doctors, paramedics, medicines and equipment had been established to facilitate pilgrims round-the-clock.
The track has been aesthetically landscaped and over 46000 ornamental plants, herbs, flowering and avenue trees have been planted to improve the ambience and three floating fountains have been installed in water bodies along the track, he said.
The track is illuminated with 500 energy efficient LED lights beside DG sets have been installed for ensuring round the clock power supply, he added.
To provide high quality filtered drinking water free of cost to the pilgrims, 16 Water ATMs have been installed at approximate intervals of 400-500 meters, the spokesperson said.
Almost the entire track has been covered with blue-roofed sturdy shelter sheds for the safety of pilgrims against shooting stones and for protecting them from rain and sunshine, he said.
He said the shelter sheds were specially designed by IIT Roorkee and a welded mesh fence has been erected all along the track for the safety of children or aged pilgrims.
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