President Mukherjee to pay obeisance at Vaishno Devi shrine
Posted on Sep 02 2014 | IANS
Jammu, Sep 2 : President Pranab Mukherjee Tuesday arrived in Jammu region's Katra town to pay obeisance at the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine.
Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra accompanied the president on his visit to the shrine.
The Jammu and Kashmir governor is the chairman of the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (MVDSB) that manages the affairs of the shrine. Each year, more than 10 million devotees from different parts of the country pay obeisance at the shrine.
An army helicopter carrying the president landed at the newly laid Panchi Helipad in Katra around noon Tuesday.
The president will inaugurate the 'Shridhar Bhawan Elevator' in Katra which will be used by old and infirm devotees to reach the shrine.
The elevator will allow the pilgrims to skip 127 steps up the mountainous trek to the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine.
The newly laid Panchi Helipad where the president's helicopter landed in Katra will also reduce the distance to the shrine for the pilgrims using helicopter services to undertake the pilgrimage.
The president will use a battery car to reach the Yatri Bhawan to inaugurate the elevator.
After praying at the shrine, Mukherjee is scheduled to fly back to New Delhi ending his two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir.
The president Tuesday addressed the 14th convocation of the University of Jammu where he was the chief guest.
The governor hosted an At Home for the president in winter capital Jammu Monday.
Vohra also briefed Mukherjee during a one-on-one interaction at the state Raj Bhawan about the latest security situation, socio-economic issues as well as those related to education and healthcare in the state.