Jammu & Kashmir: Vaishno Devi travel to resume from August 16

In a development that could cheer devotees of Vaishno Devi Mata temple, the Jammu and Kashmir government has decided to allow the travel to the holy shrine. The travel to the holy shrine will be allowed from August 16, one day after the country celebrates Independence Day. The decision was announced by the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board which said that the Yatra will be resumed immediately after the UT administration allows the opening of religious places in Jammu and Kashmir. The information about the re-opening of one of the holiest Hindu religion shrines in the world was announced by All India Radio from its official twitter handle. The temple was closed by the Shrine board in the month of May in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak in the country.

While the administration has not allowed any religious procession or ceremony in the region yet, it has said that it will soon issue Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for different religious places and institutions. In the coming days, the Shrine board is expected to hold consultation with the J&K administration to finalise the SOP for the travel of devotees to the temple from different parts of the country.

Apart from opening all religious places in Jammu and Kashmir, the administration also allowed gyms, fitness centres and yoga centres to resume their business. However, all educational institutions in the UT will remain closed till August 31. While most state governments in the country have lifted the restrictions on the movement of people during night hours, the UT administration has kept the night curfew restrictions intact till further notice. The situation of Coronavirus in all districts of the Union Territory remains tense. Barring the district of Bandipora, all districts of the Union Territory will continue to remain in the Red Category, the administration said.

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