Army builds 170 feet Bailey Bridge for the convenience of Machail Mata Yatra pilgrims in Jammu and Kashmir

The Army has built a 170-feet-long Bailey Bridge over a river to facilitate pilgrims visiting the shrine of Mata Machail in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar district, officials said on Sunday. The bridge was washed away due to the recent flash floods.

Officials said the 40-day annual Shree Machail Mata Yatra, which began on Monday after a gap of two years due to the COVID pandemic, is witnessing huge influx of pilgrims despite heavy rains. “On the request of District Administration, Kishtwar, Indian Army supported by NHIDCL jointly constructed 170 feet long Bailey Bridge at Kundel to facilitate Machil Yatra,” an official said.

The companies of Engineering Regiment Rashtriya Rifles (RR) and National Highways and Infrastructure Development (NHIDCL) have completed the installation of the bridge in record time and it has been opened for the ease of commuters, the official said. The yatra began with a ceremonial ‘first puja’ by the Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Ramesh Kumar and Kishtwar Deputy Commissioner Ashok Sharma in the presence of priests and hundreds of devotees.

He said that elaborate security arrangements and basic facilities have been provided by the police and civil administration to ensure smooth and hassle-free conduct of the annual Yatra. A large number of police personnel as well as medical and other staff have been deployed on the way to the shrine to make the yatra safe.

Officials said that the local administration has been entrusted with the task of ensuring cleanliness and hygiene in and around the langar sites for the convenience of the passengers. He said that a helicopter facility has also been made available from Gulabgarh to Paddar, for which booking centers have been set up at Jammu, Udhampur, Kishtwar and Gulabgarh.

In view of the huge rush of passengers this year and to ensure their safety, the registration facility has been established at Gulab Garh Paddar. In addition, nodal officers and magistrates have been deputed in their respective jurisdictions for the smooth conduct of the yatra.

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