Jammu: A totally redesigned 'Palki' or palanquin will soon be launched to ferry pilgrims to the cave shrine of Mata Vaishnodevi in Trikuta hills of Jammu & Kashmir.
Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board is shortly launching totally redesigned 'Palkis' for the much greater comfort of pilgrims and convenience of the Palkiwallahs, a senior of official of SMVDSB said.
The new highly comfortable, much lighter weight, sturdier and aesthetically designed 'Palkis' have been developed by a team of the Industrial Design Centre of IIT Bombay and National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE), Mumbai, in continuing collaboration with the Shrine Board, the official said.
As of now, 10 newly designed aluminium based Palkis have been received by the Shrine Board, and these are presently plying on the track on a demonstration basis. 90 more Palkis will be available next month and the entire batch of 100 such Palkis is scheduled to be formally launched by SMVDSB Chairman, he said.
The newly designed Palkis are 30 kg less in weight than the traditional ones and provides very significant convenience to the Palkiwallas to carry pilgrims.
It is pertinent to recall that the idea of improving the traditional 'Palkis' was deliberated in a meeting held at Raj Bhavan in December 2014 between Governor N N Vohra, SMVDSB Chairman, and Dr R Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India.
It was decided in the meeting that University of Jammu shall act as the nodal point for the functioning of the Rural Technology Action Group (RuTAG) which, with support from IIT, Delhi, and other technology institutions will assist the Shrine Board to undertake varied technology upgradation tasks, he said.