Small changes by the IAS Officer have made big difference at holy cave shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi

The significance of ‘Civil Services’ attracts attention of the youth as IAS Officers constantly move forward, look to the future and make things happen.

It is all about the efforts and the value of small changes and the big difference they make.

By putting things in perspective and the well structured activities by Simrandeep Singh, IAS that have created a big impact and the change is visible at holy cave shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi.

Hailing from Jammu, he is 2008 batch IAS officer (J&K cadre) and is popular amongst youth as he cracked Civil Services Examination in first attempt at an age of just 23.

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As an educated and aspiring youngster you draw inspiration from bureaucrats who as a leader set the bar, inspire and motivate you to work hard and achieve big.

The Civil Servants lead by example and their leadership rub-off on future aspirants attracts their attention towards a rewarding as well as satisfying calling for life; thus ‘Civil Services’ become top-of-mind career choice for most of them.

We talk about bureaucrats, the first thing that comes to mind is effective administration with development foresight and we always expect something extraordinary.

In a rapidly changing environment it is all about small touches that many a times goes unnoticed; but, when we recognize; the value of thought-process, minute planning and hard work that goes in to implementation comes on fore.

This is the point I try to make in so many different ways through my writing.

Here, I am talking about the prominence of the efforts by Simrandeep Singh, IAS who in recent months has really transformed the Mata Vaishno Devi Yatra for common pilgrims with well structured activities that have created a big impact.

This is an instance how a proficient, proactive Civil Servant can contribute and make the difference.

Since I frequently visit Mata Vaishno Devi, I met Simrandeep in last week of October 2018 a few days after he took charge as Chief Executive Officer, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board.Shri-Mata-Vaishno-Devi-Shrine-Board-Logo

It was a courtesy meeting and while chatting over a cup of coffee, we exchanged views about how Yatra from Katra to holy cave shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi and back has become trouble-free in last few years.

Thanking his predecessors for wonderful work done in making efforts to improve infrastructure and facilities Simrandeep showed respect and gratitude to each and everyone who worked hard for the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine makeover that we all witness right from Katra to Bhavan.

Development is a continuous process; managing approx. 90 lakh plus visitors per annum and making their journey enjoyable is a huge challenge. He acknowledged his openness to the twists and turns of change, readiness to adapt and flow with the change.

As a devotee and a frequent visitor, when he asked me to highlight difficulties, concerns or suggestions, if any; I talked about a few things like little troubles faced during extreme weather conditions specially during winters and some more that necessitate immediate attention such as Battery Car ticket bookings, difficulties in getting ponies etc.

It is not that the Shrine Board is not aware of such things; they must be working hard to create effective resolution for many such issues that generally tourists face.

A breath of fresh air

In the subsequent months, I am really amazed to see the positive changes taking place at such an intense velocity.

Cable car between Mata Vaishno Devi Bhavan and Bhairon

It is no less than a surprise when you watch a few things that troubled you, getting almost vanished. It has been really interesting and exciting to see small, continuous improvement.

As a common man, each time I visited the shrine in last five months, I saw something or other that has been addressed and change is visible.


Be it the new fleet of Battery Cars and its increased frequency, commencement of online booking for Battery Cars, installation of Cable car between Bhavan to Bhairon, putting in place CCTVs and video-conferencing facilities, excellent arrangements during rough conditions this winter that extended till early March and almost everything getting computerized and transparent.Shri-Mata-Vaishno-Devi-Shrine-Board-Pre-Paid-Counter

The latest change that forced me to do this piece of writing is Hi-tech, round the clock pre-paid booking system for hiring Pony, Porter and Palanquin services for Mata Vaishno Devi pilgrims.Shri-Mata-Vaishno-Devi-Shrine-Board-Pre-Paid-Counter

As lots of security, environmental, legal issues may be involved, I do understand that these all are efforts put in by various agencies and is a team-work.

In these few months, I realized how minutely and steadily things are being addressed one after another that gave me a feel of a lineup headed by an efficient IAS Officer that is responsive and assures delivery of services in the most efficient manner.

My heartfelt compliments for all the good work and wish that such changes gain momentum and sustainable changes by Shrine Board make Yatra more pleasant.

So, next time when you visit Mata Vaishno Devi, you will realize more efficient system and will notice the changes I have put in picture that will surely make darshan of holy cave shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi easier.

And certainly, it would remind you about the man responsible for the change.

Last Update Sunday 28th April 2019     

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