Traders and shopkeepers today held a major protest demonstration against Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB), claiming that the proposed Tarakote-Sanji Chhat ropeway project in Katra town of Reasi district would ruin their business.
Hundreds of traders, shopkeepers, pony owners among others raised slogans against the SMVDSB and observed a complete shutdown at Katra, the base camp of Vaishno Devi shrine.
Locals said a protest against the shrine board by traders was rare and the issue of ropeway might snowball into a major controversy. Prabhat Mangli, the leader of the protesters, said it was a peaceful demonstration over the proposed ropeway that would ruin the business of the traders. Our only aim is to stop this proposed project. Katra is the first stop for pilgrims coming from any part of the world but the ropeway will bypass most of the area,” said Mangli.
According to official information, the tendering process for the project is in the last stage. The project would cost Rs 250 crore.