All arrangements in place for Mata Kheer Bhawani yatra: Wattal

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, June 6: Stating that the yatra to Mata Kheer Bhawani had increased manifold, Mata Kheer Bhawani Ji Yatra Welfare Society (MKBJYWS) convenor, Kiran Wattal today said that all arrangements had been put in place for the smooth conduct of the annual pilgrimage to the holy cave shrine of the Goddess at Tulmulla in Ganderbal district of Central Kashmir.
“The yatra will be held on June 12. Pooja will start on June 13,” he said while talking to media persons at Press Club, here.
Wattal urged devotees to hold their own programmes outside the temple premises due to the shortage of space at the temple.
“Pilgrimage to Tulmulla has registered a phenomenal growth under the administration of LG Manoj Sinha,” Wattal said and hoped that the administration would put in its best efforts to make the yatra a memorable experience for the devotees who visit the shrine across the country and abroad.
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He emphasised the need for using state-of-the-art tents inside the temple permises, especially German Hangers, for the convenience of devotees. He also hoped that the yatris will not face the problems, which they had faced last time.
Wattal said the community was highly thankful to then ADG, Kashmir Mukesh Singh for the security arrangements which police had made for the safety of pilgrims enroute the yatra and at the temple.
“The community also highly appreciated the cooperation extended by Tourism Department, especially its Director Vivekananda and Joint Director, Sunaina Sharma, to the pilgrimage,” he said and added that the role of Director Tourism, Kashmir, was also highly commendable.
“It was virtually not possible for us to give final shape to our pilgrimage plans without the active support of Divisional Commissioners of Kashmir & Jammu,” he said.
Wattal, however, put forward the demand of arranging at least 25 percent more blankets this year as compared to the last year due to the ever-increasing rush of devotees to the temple.
In a video-conferencing held at the office of Divisional Commissioner Jammu over a week ago, a threadbare discussion had taken between the representatives of MKBJYWS and the Kashmir administration led by Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar Bidhuri as regards the conduct of Zesht Ashtami festival at Kheer Bhawani, Tulmulla, Manzgam, Khanbarni Devsar, Tikker and Logripora, he said.
The Divisional Commissioner strictly advised all the district development commissioners and other concerned departmental heads to ensure smooth conduct of the forthcoming yatra and directed that all arrangements were completed at the earliest.
He had advised DC, Ganderbal, for sufficient bedding and providing of sufficient blankets to yatris.
He said the representatives of all the Management Committees requested the Divisional Commissioner that all the concerned Deputy Commissioners should form a WhatsApp group to coordinate with the yatra committees, particularly Wattal who is chief coordinator of the yatra.
Others who were present in the press conference included Prof Ashok Aima ex VC Central University of Jammu, Prem Sharma, Pintoo Ji, Kamal Ganjoo, Kundan Lal Raina, Roshan Lal Koul, Uttar Raina, Avinash Bhat and Pawan Koul.

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