Press Trust of India

Accommodation management system launched at Mata Vaishno Devi shrine

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Jammu: Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) has launched an accommodation management system for devotees visiting the holy shrine atop Trikuta hills in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district, an official said on Thursday.

The new system at the enquiry and reservation counter at Katra — the base camp for the pilgrims — was inaugurated by Anshul Garg, SMVDSB’s Chief Executive Officer, the official said.

He said the technology-driven initiative was meant to provide an optimal pilgrimage experience to the devotees.

With the robust accommodation management system in place, the check-in and check-out of the pilgrims would become easier and less time-consuming, and the financial transactions pertaining to payments on account of reservations would be secured, the official said.

In addition, he said that it would also increase the room allotment efficiency of SMVDSB, thus benefiting more pilgrims.

Earlier, the SMVDSB inaugurated an online booking facility for the passenger ropeway from Mata Vaishno Devi Bhawan to the Bhairon Temple for the convenience of the pilgrims.

The facility has been widely appreciated by the pilgrims and based on the warm response, the online quota has been increased to 3,000 tickets per day from January 2024 onwards, the official said.

The shrine board has made concerted efforts for the adoption of a number of emerging technologies and response mechanisms for state-of-the-art facilities.

These include a live darshan’ facility of holy pindies’ for the benefit of devotees across the world, particularly those who are not able to visit the shrine physically, the official said.

This initiative has been taken by the board with the view to maximise the use of available technology and digitisation for the larger facilitation of devotees, the official said.

In addition, to provide authentic information to pilgrims, a bilingual interactive chatbot “Shakti” has been developed for the official website augmenting a round-the-clock toll-free helpline equipped with an Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) for addressing queries and grievances received from pilgrims.

Over 20,000 pilgrims are being facilitated every month by the call centre, the official said, adding that this facility has been providing all the relevant information on facilities provided by the board to pilgrims at the click of a button.

Along similar lines, the board has integrated digital payments in the various sale units to minimise the cash transactions by installing self-serve kiosk machines, QR codes, EDC machines, UPI payments and also on-boarding to popular digital platforms for donations and sale of Prasad.

The digitalisation of the front-end services of a helicopter, battery car bookings, RFID yatra access cards and their real-time tracking with the dedicated RF Network and over 700 CCTV cameras by the board has facilitated the pilgrims and also improved administrative efficiencies through digital records and real-time reporting, the official said.

Press Trust of India

Press Trust of India is lead news agency of India

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