Jammu, Deputy Chief Minister, Dr. Nirmal Singh on Sunday inaugurated six Jammu and Kashmir Bank ATMs en route to the Mata Vaishno Devi at a simple but impressive function held at the Base Camp Niharika complex Katra, the spokesman in a statement said.The spokesman said that the inauguration was done in presence of Ajay Nanda, Minister of State, Parvez Ahmed, Chairman and CEO, J&K Bank, Vagish Chander Executive President J&K Bank, Senior functionaries of the Shrine Board and prominent citizens of Katra.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Nirmal Singh hailed the management and governance of Shrine Board towards making the pilgrimage one of the well-planned events providing all possible facilities to the Devotees. He appreciated JK Bank leadership for its consistent and proactive efforts to regularly engage with various stakeholders for the growth and development of the state. He also described various initiatives of the government to develop the urban infrastructure like the riverfront development project in Jammu, underground cabling in Katra town and improved power facilities in the state, a spokesman added.
Ajay Nanda, Minister of State said that Katra is the iconic place of Jammu and Kashmir State holding immense religious, heritage and cultural significance. He appreciated the J&K Bank for its customer-oriented approach which was one of the best in the Banking industry and lauded the vision of the Chairman for facilitating the pilgrims and security personnel by launching Six ATMs on the Yatra track in a single day. He requested the Chairman and CEO JK Bank to increase the number of ATMs in the Katra town besides conducting feasibility of providing such facilities on the Shivkhori Yatra route to facilitate the pilgrims.
Earlier during his welcome address Chairman JK Bank Parvez Ahmed elaborated on the vision of the bank to engage with various stakeholders to intervene as a catalyst in developing the socio-economic profile of the state. The today’s initiative he added is a collaborative vision of JK Bank and Shrine Board to make the pilgrimage track pilgrim friendly besides embarking on the journey of digital transformation. The Bank he asserted has urged various stakeholders to devise way and means including the development of tourism circuits in and around Katra town to increase the number of days spent by the pilgrims in the state. This he said was possible by developing the various hidden gems in tourism circuit by the government and other stakeholders to not only give a boost to tourism but also to develop employment opportunities for the people of the state.
“The Bank is working towards the transformative digital economy in the state and aims to create easily accessible touch points for the pilgrims to cater to their cash needs through the ATM chain across the pilgrim route. We are keen to collaborate with the Shrine Board to ease the experience of yatris besides providing hassle-free services to people coming from all over the country,” said Parvez Ahmed. The chairman acknowledged the strong relationship with Shrine Board and said that the same was beyond the commercial perspective with collective vision and commitment towards the pilgrims visiting the state.
The ATMs inaugurated by the bank for the convenience of pilgrims, Security personnel, local businessmen en route Yatra track and Shrine Board employees have been put up at Niharika, Katra, Ban Ganga, Adh Kuwari, Sanjhi Chhat, Him Koti and Manokamna.
The function which was also attended by the representatives of Hotel Industry of Katra, Chamber of Commerce Jammu ended with a vote of thanks by Sudhir Gupta Vice President and Zonal Head JK Bank for Udhampur and Reasi Districts.