STATE TIMES NEWS KATRA: The hi-tech computerised pre-paid management system, integrated with CCTV Cameras and video conferencing facilities, for hiring Ponis, Pithoos and Palkis, which was launched by the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board for the facilitation of pilgrims, has completed one year of its successful operation. More than 20 lakh pilgrims have availed the facility of this 24×7 hi-tech system which was commissioned on 26 February 2019. Ramesh Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, reviewed the functioning of the pre-paid system at a meeting of the concerned officers of the Shrine Board here today. He stressed for bringing about further improvements in the system, by technological interventions, wherever possible, for further facilitation of the pilgrims, who avail the services of ponies, pithoos and palkis during the pilgrimage. The system has integrated 10 Pre-paid Counters from Katra to Bhairon, located at an average distance of 1.75 km from each other at Katra, Banganga, Charan-Paduka, Adhkuwari-I, Adhkuwari-II, Sanjichhat, Satya, Parvati Bhawan at Bhawan, Pony Stand Bhawan and Bhairon, from where the pilgrims get pony, pithoo and palki services at pre-determined rates. The entire monitoring of this pre-paid system is done from the monitoring station located at Katra. The pre-paid counters also serve as Grievance Registration Centres for the pilgrims which is conveyed to the Shrine Board Administration at Katra in escalation format. RFID readers and scanners installed at these 10 locations get actual number of ponies on the track on a given day which helps the Shrine Board extend appropriate sanitation services and manpower to handle the mule dung collection and its disposal. Each pilgrim has also been provided a helmet, elbow and knee pads to provide preventive cover against any accidental injury. The Counters also provide video conferencing facilities to the Shrine Board Office in order to monitor the activities and interact with employees at different Yatra stations. The operationalisation of the pre-paid system has eliminated any chances of over-charging by the service providers and ensures that they charge only as per the rates of Ponis, Pithoos and Palkis fixed by the District Administration, Reasi, for these services. Among those who participated in the meeting included Vivek Verma, Additional CEO; Dr. Sunil Sharma, Dr. Jagdish Mehra and Deepak Dubey, Dy. CEOs; Manu Hansa, Assistant CEO; Vinay Khajuria, ACF; and Rohit Singh Sambyal, Director, G Max IT Services.
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