Now, electric AC buses to ferry Vaishno Devi pilgrims from Jammu to Katra - Hindustan Times
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Now, electric AC buses to ferry Vaishno Devi pilgrims from Jammu to Katra

May 23, 2024 09:42 AM IST

Jammu and Kashmir administration fixes fare of ₹135 for the AC e-busses; to run from Jammu railway station on hourly basis starting 5 am

As part of the Jammu Smart City Project, the administration has introduced fully air-conditioned electric buses to ferry Vaishno Devi pilgrims from Jammu railway station to the holy town of Katra and back.

Eight electric buses will ferry Vaishno Devi pilgrims from Jammu railway station to the holy town of Katra and back (HT Photo)
Eight electric buses will ferry Vaishno Devi pilgrims from Jammu railway station to the holy town of Katra and back (HT Photo)

Sharing information, project chief executive officer Rahul Yadav said, “We have a total of 100 e-buses — 75 buses are of 9-m length and 25 of 12-m length. Of the 25 buses, we have 24 for the long routes, i.e., Kathua, Katra and Udhampur.”

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“For now, 15 buses are being plied on these routes that include five e-buses on Jammu-Katra route,” Yadav said, informing that roughly eight e-buses, with a capacity of 35 passengers each, will be plied on the route.

“We are also holding meetings with the transporters’ union to address their concerns. While five e-buses have started plying between Jammu railway station and Katra, we would extend the facility to Jammu Airport and Jammu bus stand for Katra,” he added.

The administration has fixed a fare of 135 per passenger for the AC e-busses.

“The buses have comfortable seats and so far we have gotten a good response from the pilgrims. We are working out a time table for these e-buses in consonance with arrival and departure timings of the trains from Jammu railway station,” the CEO said.

Though Katra has an ultra modern railway station and pilgrims do travel directly to Katra in trains like Vande Bharat, Uttar Sampark Kranti and Shri Shakti Express yet hundreds of pilgrims from other parts of the country reach Jammu for their onward journey via road.

The e-buses at Jammu railway station operate on hourly basis starting 5 am.

Rakesh Kumar, a pilgrim on board the e-bus, said, “The fare in an air-conditioned e-bus is certainly justified and the commute is comfortable.”

Hitherto pilgrims disembarking at Jammu had to take private cabs and buses which had higher fare.

Meanwhile, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board has also been mulling direct helicopter service from Jammu to Panchhi helipad near the sanctum sanctorum and vice versa from next month for the high end pilgrims.

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