500 pilgrims for Mata Vaishno Devi Yatra is not enough: Katra Shopkeepers

Hotel Association, Shopkeepers of Karta expressed resentment over new guidelines of maximum 500 pilgrims from outside the Union Territory to allow for Mata Vashino Devi Shrine in Katra” .

Religious places in Jammu and Kashmir are going to reopen from August 16 after a prolonged lockdown due to the corona virus pandemic but a maximum of 5000 pilgrims will be allowed per day to visit Vaishno Devi shrine in Katra, Jammu till September 30 after the reopening of religious places in the Union Territory on August 16.

Devotees from outside the state will also be allowed to visit the shrine, however, in much lesser numbers– a maximum of 500 pilgrims per day– within the overall limit of 5,000 pilgrims, in a graded manner to prevent overcrowding, considered conducive to the spread of Covid-19 infection.

Talking to JK Newspoint, local Businessmen said, “we are already suffering from financial crisis due to Covid-19 disease and after the announcement of opening of religious places we got a sense of relief in this crisis like situation. But all that went in vain because of these new guidelines. Only 500 pilgrims from outside state for yatra are not enough to run our business as our business mostly depends on these Yatris only.”

They appealed the government to amend this order and allow more yatris.