What is Maa Vaishno Devi Shrine Board? What is the contribution of the Shrine Board to the Yatra?

The management of the Yatra and the governance and administration of the Shrine is done by the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, popularly called the Shrine Board. The Board was set up in August 1986 under the provisions of The Jammu and Kashmir Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Act, 1988. The main objective of the Act was to provide for better management and governance of the Holy Shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji and its endowments including the appurtenant lands and buildings.

Prior to the takeover, the management and control of the Shrine was with a private trust called the Dharamarth Trust and a group of traditional local residents called Baridars (so called because they collected their offerings as per their turn- bari) .The takeover was necessitated considering the poor state of things and the absence of facilities for the pilgrims. While the offerings were pocketed by the Baridars, the other incomes including rentals and royalties were taken by the trust. However, there were very few facilities for the Yatries. The pilgrims who reached the Holy town of Katra from all over India with devotion and faith in their hearts were often met with all kinds of hardships, insensitivity and mismanagement.

Under the provisions of the Act, the Administration, management and governance of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine and the Shrine Funds shall vest with a Board comprising Chairman and not more than ten members.

The Governor of the state of Jammu and Kashmir by virtue of his office is the ex-officio Chairman of the Board. He nominates nine members in the Board at the policy making level. The Board discharge its duty through a Chief Executive Officer who is assisted by the Addl. Chief Executive Officer and various Area Heads and Functional Heads.

Ever since the takeover the Shrine Board has continuously strives hard to provide all possible facilities to the Devotees visiting the Holy Cave Shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji. With the result, the yatra to the Holy Shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji has increased tremendously. This has been possible due to the blessings of the Divine and the all round efforts of the Shrine Board. Today the Shrine Board is recognized as one of the major service providing organization in the country. The efforts of the Shrine Board have been to make the Yatra to the Holy Shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji a smooth and memorable experience. Efforts are still afoot to further improve the facilities for the Yatries and provide them state of the art facilities in every sphere.

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