SMVDSB: Guv approves Refund Policy

Jammu, Aug 2: In a significant decision aimed at promoting convenience of pilgrims using the online mode of bookings, Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra, who is also the Chairman of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, has approved a policy for providing 70 percent refund to the pilgrims on cancellation of pre-booked online helicopter tickets for travel on Katra-Sanjichhat-Katra Sector and rooms as well as dormitory bookings in the accommodations of the Board. This policy has become operational from August 1, 2018. Earlier, there was no such cancellation provision for online bookings of the Shrine Board accommodations at Jammu, Katra, Bhawan and other locations, while only 50 percent amount was being refunded in case of cancellation of online helicopter bookings, which has now been enhanced to 70 percent, official spokesman here said. He said that this facility of refund will only be available for the pilgrims who cancel their bookings online on the Shrine Board’s website at least four days in advance of the scheduled date of travel or stay. Dheeraj Gupta, Chief Executive Officer, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, informed that the pilgrims shall now be able to opt for cancellation of their advance bookings of helicopter tickets for travel on Katra-Sanjichhat-Katra Sector and accommodations of the Board from August 1 onwards. Subsequently, on receipt of such requests, a refund of 70 percent of the amount on both these counts shall be processed and amount credited back through the same mode as used by a particular devotee for bookings. He added that earlier, the entire amount of booking for online accommodation was retained as processing charges in order to prevent en-masse online blocking by miscreants. However, in order to facilitate pilgrims who desire to cancel their bookings on genuine grounds, this pilgrim-friendly initiative has been approved by Governor Vohra to provide relief to the Yatris while retaining some amount as a deterrent to prevent mass bookings, he added. Also, a Standard Operating Procedure has been formulated and notified to regulate the new policy to check any violations like bulk booking through a single user ID or creation of multiple user IDs by a single user, said the spokesman.