Vaishno shrine board may scrap priority darshan scheme
The newly-introduced system of charging pilgrims for out of the turn darshan of the deity at Vaishno Devi shrine may be scrapped soon.
According to sources, a review process started Wednesday following protests and criticism of the move by Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board.
The shrine board officials were not forthcoming on the issue. All they said was that a team of officials was examining the whole issue and depending on their feedback the matter would be reviewed. But, the indications are that the new system is likely to be scrapped.
The board had on last Saturday introduced a fee of Rs. 200, Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 for three different categories of priority darshan.
A spokesman of the shrine board said: “We are examining representations from various socio-religious organizations and other groups on the new priority darshan scheme.” Clarifying the whole issue, he said, “the term paid darshan is a misnomer. In fact, the new priority system that the Board is experimenting with is just a mechanism to further streamline the yatra. It is not intended commercialize the yatra or to earn more revenue as is being made out by various organizations."