Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik electronically laid the foundation stone of a five-storey, earthquake-resistant building to provide accommodation for Mata Vaishno Devi pilgrims, an official said Saturday. The new Durga Bhawan has been planned to meet the demand for accommodation of pilgrims visiting the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir, he said.
The estimated cost of the project is Rs 50 crore and the building with a plinth area of 14,800 sq.ft and covered area of 60,000 sq.ft will provide free accommodation to around 4,000 pilgrims every day, a spokesman of the Raj Bhavan said. The new building will be almost twice the size of the old Durga Bhawan and would have adequate facilities such as lockers, toilets, blankets, ready to eat snacks and beverages as well as provision of four elevators for vertical circulation, he added.
The reconstruction of Durga Bhawan is part of the approved master plan of the Bhawan area which was prepared by the Bhawan's shrine board while, the extended shrine area was designed by the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, the spokesman said, adding the phase-1 which has four task is expected to be completed by 2021. The Governor, after laying the foundation stone on Friday, directed the CEO of the shrine board to ensure its speedy completion.
(With inputs from agencies.)