KATRA: Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Ramesh Kumar, on Tuesday conducted a comprehensive review of the preparations for the upcoming annual Navratra festival scheduled to start from October 15, 2023, and continue till October 23, 2023.
The festival’s inaugural event is planned to be held at Yog Ashram Ground Katra, followed by a Shobha Yatra and a grand event to showcase the cultural heritage of Jammu and Kashmir and India as a whole.
During the meeting, the Director of Tourism presented a detailed report on the scheduled programs and activities for the festival, including discussions with stakeholders for suggestions and input.
The Divisional Commissioner also conducted a thorough review of different aspects, including town beautification, sanitation, essential services, traffic management and emergency services. He instructed officers to ensure sanitation from Domel to Katra Town throughout the Navratra days.
Furthermore, arrangements for congregational programs like ‘Prabhat Pheris,’; ‘Mata ki Kahani’ recitation; Devotional Song Competition; Ram Leela, Dangal and other cultural events were discussed.
It was noted that the Mata Kahani show would be held at the Spiritual Growth Center, while Ram Leela would be performed daily at Government Higher Secondary School Katra from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM.
The Garba Night and Garba Dandiya Night are scheduled for October 21st at Padma Shri Sachdev Government PG College for Women Gandhinagar Jammu.
Several other events are also proposed during the festival days, including All India Devotional song performances, Bhagwat Katha, folk festivals, Hassaya Vyang, Mata Ka Jagran, Kavi Samelan, Wrestling Competitions, programs by specially-abled children and other cultural activities.
The Divisional Commissioner instructed all concerned departments and organizers to make comprehensive arrangements to ensure the smooth conduct of all programs during the Navratra festival for the convenience of pilgrims. He emphasized creating a festive ambiance and directed the Tourism Department and Municipal Committee Katra to adorn gateways and prominent locations with ornamental illuminations.
The Divisional Commissioner urged officers to coordinate their efforts, implement necessary arrangements in advance, and ensure proper regulation of traffic, foolproof security, road maintenance, street beautification, and sanitation in Katra town. He also called for regular power and water supply during Navratra days and emphasized the importance of foolproof security arrangements.
The Divisional Commissioner expressed his belief that the Navratra festival would attract more tourists and promote religious and pilgrimage tourism in the region. The CEO of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board was tasked with holding a review meeting with all stakeholders to finalize the arrangements.
The meeting was attended by CEO SMVD Shrine Board, Anshul Garg; Director Tourism, Vivekanand Rai; Deputy Commissioner Reasi, Babila Rakwal; SSP, Amit Gupta, Joint Director Information, Joint Director Tourism, SDM Katra and senior officers of the police and civil administration; representatives of various religious organizations; Presidents of Market associations; eminent citizens; and other concerned individuals.