The Government has not yet established full-fledged Boards for better administration, management and governance of Shri Mata Sukrala Devi and Shri Mata Bala Sundari Shrines in Kathua district and Shri Shiv Khori Shrine in Reasi district.
Shri Mata Sukrala Devi and Shri Mata Bala Sundari Shrine Act, 2013, The Jammu and Kashmir Shri Shiv Khori Shrine Act, 2008 establishes that the administration, management and governance of these shrines and shrine fund will be managed by their respective Boards. These Boards will have to provide the facilities for the pilgrims and manage developmental activities.
These Boards include Divisional Commissioner (Chairperson), Deputy Commissioner Kathua (Vice-Chairperson in respect of Shri Mata Sukrala Devi and Shri Mata Bala Sundari Shrines), Deputy Commissioner Reasi (Vice-Chairperson in respect of Shiv Khori Shrine), Chief Executive Officer of Shri Mata Vaishnodevi Shrine Board and Director Tourism Jammu (Member).
Two persons along with a woman will also be nominated who have distinguished themselves in the service of Hindu religion or culture and two other persons related to the fields of administration, legal affairs, financial matters and journalism etc.
The Government was expected to make fresh nominations in order to establish full-fledged Boards but by now proper attention has not been paid towards this even though Sub-Section 3 of Section 13 of these two Acts clearly state that no business of the Boards will be finalised at any meeting unless at least seven members are present.
In April this year, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs amended these two Acts through Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Adaptation of State Laws) Order for nomination of non-J&K residents as non-official members of these two Shrine Boards. Sources said that even after these Acts were amended, no serious step has been taken by the Government to nominate the non-official members of two Shrine Boards. Some officers directly associated with these two Shrine Boards, admitted that in the absence of full-fledged Boards no meetings took place during the past quite long time.
Sources say that there are many aspects of these shrines which need urgent attention. Moreover, there is a need to develop additional facilities for the pilgrims particularly for Shri Mata Sukrala Devi and Shri Mata Bala Sundari Shrines but the absence of full-fledged Boards is creating obstacles in taking decisions.