Owing to bad weather and fog around Trikuta Hills, helicopter service to Vaishno Devi shrine, which was suspended from the first day of Navratras, remained suspended for the fifth consecutive day on Wednesday.
Pilgrims, especially the elderly and handicapped, arriving at the base camp of Mata Vaishno Devi shrine during Navratras are facing hardships due to the suspended helicopter service. There are hundreds of other pilgrims at Katra who are eagerly waiting for the chopper service to resume. Meanwhile, Katra town is witnessing an unprecedented rush of pilgrims during Navratras.
Raghav Sharma from Rohtak said he reached Katra along with his mother, who is suffering from arthritis, to have darshan but due to suspension of the helicopter service and no chance of weather clearing up, he, after two days putting up at local hotel, has planned to take his mother in a 'palki' by road.
Owing to the suspension of the helicopter service, there is a heavy rush for pony wallas and palaki wallas, with pilgrims, who had planned to go by helicopter earlier, have to change their plan due to foggy weather.
Shankar Singh, a pony walla, said, "We are making two trips to the shrine to meet heavy rush in absence of chopper service and hope good earnings this time."