Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Friday informed that the Vaishno Devi Yatra would resume from August 16, nearly five months after it was suspended as a precautionary measure amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The shrine board, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, said that the preparation for the yatra has already begun. The statement by the shrine board said that the temple premises will be sanitized regularly and all the norms are being taken care of to welcome the pilgrims.
This came after the J&K administration announced that all religious places and places of worship to open in the Union Territory from August 16.
The official spokesperson of J&K administration Rohit Kansal said, “Major decision by J&K Government. All religious places and places of worship to open in Jammu & Kashmir from August 16, 2020. Religious processions and large religious gatherings remain strictly prohibited.”
Major decision by J&K Government. All religious places and places of worship to open in Jammu & Kashmir from August 16, 2020. Religious processions and large religious gatherings remain strictly prohibited. @diprjk
— Rohit Kansal (@kansalrohit69) August 4, 2020
The order says that there will be a ceiling of maximum of 5,000 pilgrims per day in a graded manner till September 30. The pilgrims have been asked to do the registration in advance only through online mode, in order to avoid any assembly of persons at current counters.
The installation and use of the Aarogya Setu App have been made mandatory for all pilgrims. “The pilgrims will not be allowed to touch statues, idols of or holy books,” said an official order.
The order further mentions that the Covid-19 antigen test will be made mandatory for all devotees arriving from other states. The pilgrims will be allowed to proceed only if they test negative. Pilgrims coming from red zone districts of J&K will also have to undergo the same test.
People living in and around Katra are happy since this would resume their business.