Restoration of Vande Bharat Express to boost Vaishno Devi pilgrimage: Jitendra

Jammu : Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh on Thursday welcomed resumption of Vande Bharat Express train and asserted that the facility will further boost pilgrimage to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Cave Shrine.

Taking to micro-blogging sites, Dr Singh wrote, “Vande Bharat Express – In response to popular demand, New Delhi to Shri Mata #Vaishnodevi #Katra has been restored. Thanks to PM Sh @narendramodi from all the holy pilgrims.”

However, talking to UNI, Dr Singh said, “because of the COVID constraints it has to be suspended but railways services are being resumed with one of the earliest, Vande Bharat Express.”

“This is also keeping in commitment with the Modi government to ensure ease of travel particularly for the pilgrims,” he said, adding that it was also a demand from local people of Katra including the Trade industry.

“The resumption of Vande Bharat Express will definitely flourish pilgrimage to the Cave Shrine,” he said.

With COVID cases starting settling in Jammu and Kashmir like other parts of the country, the number of pilgrims has also started swelling to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Cave Shrine situated in Trikuta Hills of Katra in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir.

As per official figures, in the first six months this year, more than 18 lakh pilgrims have visited the Bhawan and paid obeisance.

In six months this year, he said that 18.88 lakh pilgrims visited the Bhawan, an official of the Shrine Board said.

“The pilgrims have to carry valid and verifiable negative reports as per the Government protocol before yatra,” he said.