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How Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) is using RFID yatri cards for crowd management

  • Mahesh Tiwari
  • Mar 09, 2023
  • RFID
How Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) is using RFID yatri cards for crowd management

People in India have been visiting  Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine, situated in the midst of Trikuta hills, for years now. The Bhawan which houses the sanctum sanctorum, the holy cave of three Goddesses Maha Kali, Maha Laxmi and Mata Saraswati can be seen from the Katra city which is considered as the base camp of this holy journey of 13km.

Since hundreds of thousands of people visit the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine on daily basis, crowd management and security becomes a top priority for SMVDSB, which manages the shrine. The shrine board recently started to issue RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) yatri cards replacing the paper ones (yatri parchi) being used earlier.

Yatri Registration and RFID Yatri Card:

Like earlier, Yatris are still obligated to register themselves for the yatra, either online or in person before commencement of the yatra, at the YRC (yatra registration counter) situated near Katra, Bus Stand where their photograph is captured and name, place etc is asked. Yatris are then issued a RFID yatri card (as shown in the image above) to commence their journey.

RFID yatri card for yatri safety and security:

Security and safety of pilgrims remains a top priority for the shrine board and many security personals are deployed throughout the 14km journey which passes through hills and uneven terrains. Since Yatris complete the journey throughout the day and night, security is prioritized.

Once yatris are issued a RFID yatri card, they have to reach the first check post named ‘BanGanga’ within 6 hours, which is merely 1.5km from the starting point. If a yatri doesn’t reach the first check post within 6 hours, the RFID Yatri card has to be submitted and reissued again as per the security protocols.

It’s worth pointing out that the holy Journey to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine is an important one for Hindu devotees and also for people from other faiths and many a times there have been attempts by Terrorists to harm the shrine and yatris as well. This is why safety and security remains an important aspect and RFID yatri card can be a positive step in that direction for obvious reasons.

RFID Yatri card for crowd management:

Since hundreds of thousands Yatris men, women, children including elderly folks take up the auspicious journey on daily basis, crowd management is another challenging task for SMVDSB.  

By issuing RFID Yatri card, replacing the paper slip, the board is embarking on a new approach to handle crowd, apart from deploying security personals. According to estimates nearly one crore (10m) people visit the shrine every year and the yatri influx is huge during Hindu festivals like Navratri, Dussehra etc. In such situations, RFID yatri card can be helpful in managing crowd efficiently and it is also useful in tracking missing people, or people that are separated from their families over the course of 13km long yatra to the Bhawan.

While CCTV coverage is being increased throughout the journey, RFID antennas are installed at various intersections which help in tracking yatris throughout the journey. A control room has also been setup to monitor yatris throughout the journey and to make their journey safe and eventful.

It is also worth noting that, like earlier, yatri registration is completely free and yatris are issued RFID cards which are made of fiber, without any additional cost.  Yatris  are obligated to submit their RFID card at the end of their journey and these cards are rewritten and reissued to next set of yatris.

Disclaimer: The information presented here is for general information purposes only and true to best of our understanding. Users are requested to use any information as per their own understanding and knowledge. Before using any of the information, please refer to our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.

  • Created on Feb 14, 2023

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