Vaishno Devi shrine scraps paid entry scheme

June 12th, 2008 - 10:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Katra (Jammu and Kashmir), June 12 (IANS) Authorities at the Vaishno Devi hill shrine in Jammu and Kashmir Thursday scrapped an “experimental” scheme to give an early entry to pilgrims who pay up. After interacting with a committee set up to examine the issue, Jammu and Kashmir Governor Lt. General (retd) S.K. Sinha, who is also ex-officio chairman of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, announced the scheme was dropped.

“The system had been introduced on experimental basis,” he said.

Respecting the popular demand, it was decided to dispense with all sorts of priorities, including the paid ones, he added.

The shrine board last month announced fees ranging from Rs.200 to Rs.1,000 for priority entry to the hill shrine, triggering off protests by pilgrims, who often have to wait in queue for several houses for entry into the temple.

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