Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board Complaint

Subject: Refund
My Name: MIHIR
My Contact No.: 9909624343
My City: surat
My Complaint Against: Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board
Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board’s Contact Details: 01991232887
Complaint Category: Others
My Complaint Description:
DEAR SIR
I HAVE BOOK A HELICOPTER TICKET ON MY USERNAME OF KEYURPACHCHIGAR. TICKET PAX NAME IS MS PADMINIBEN VARMA & MR DHANESH VARMA. TRAVEL DATE 6 FEB.. SIR YE LOGIN ID KEYURPACHCHIGAR KA HE AUR USME TICKET UNKE UNCEL KI KI HE PAR VAHA TRAVEL TICKET UNKE PASS ID PROOF MANGA UNKE PASS UNKA ID PROOF TO THA PAR US TICKET KO NOT CARRING VALID PHOTO ID PROOF KA STAMP LIKH KE CANCEL KAR DIYA AUR VAHA UNHONE KAHA YE REFUND AMOUNT APNE JAHA SE BOOK KIYA UNKO MIL JAYEGE PAR AB ME MAA VAISHNO DEVI K NUMBER PAR BAAT KAR RAHA HU TO VO LOG MUJHE REFUND K LIYE MANA KAR RAHE HAI. SO PLEASE I WOUND LIKE TO REQUEST TO MAA VAISHNO YE AMOUNT AAM ADMI K LIYE TO BAHUT BADE AMOUNT HE. 1626.02/- AMOUNT REFUND ABHI TAK NAHE MILE HE..

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One thought on “Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board Complaint

  1. I am a South African Indian and had in January 2018 made the long anticipated pilgrimage to the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine, Katra. We did not have much prior insight into the time to be taken on the long walk from the helipad to the temple/shrine and the return to the helipad. Neither were we aware of the amount of time that it would take while waiting in the long queues to enter the temple, then the crowded and slow walk through the cave, time for our prostrations, worship and return. Yet long before we could embark on our trip and also upon reaching Katra we were filled with excitement and on having reached Katra, we had this huge sense of near fulfilment and sincere devotion, just by merely being there.
    On 31 January 2018, our helicopter flight forward was scheduled at 13h00 and to return from the top at 16h28, the same day. Without prior insight, we thought this to be fairly reasonable timing. At the helicopter booking and check-in office, our return flights were amended and endorsed to be at 15h20 and my wife’s (separate flight) was at 15h45. In effect, we were both expected to be back at the helipad, for the return flight, at least by15h00. This would have therefore allowed us merely TWO full hours to disembark, fast walk (2,5km @ 30 minutes each way). Thus, we would be left with merely ONE hour to join the queue, wait for entry and complete our visit into and out of the shrine. This, one has to admit is totally impossible to accomplish, given the circumstances. Although, we were guided through gate 5 (which is a priority pass for the helicopter passengers), we however remained in a queue for almost ninety minutes as the worshippers were allowed in, in segmented groups, at intervals.
    Upon entering the cave and into the Shrine route, the pilgrimage takes on a slow pace as pilgrims slow down for worship and sightseeing of the cave and surroundings, all of which takes about another one hour. See below time allocations :-
    Land at helipad : 13h45
    Walk from helipad to lockers & then to priority Gate 5 : 13h45 to 14h20
    Wait in queue via gate 5 : 14h20 to 16h00
    Entry into shrine and walk though : 16h00 to 17h00
    Return to locker & walk back to helipad : 17h00 to 17h40
    It is hoped from the above, that the reader, as well as the esteemed authorities of the Shrine Board will realise, that the scheduled times as per the booking, and more especially, the amended times reflected on our boarding passes, makes it rather impossible on any given day of pilgrimage, for a traveller to abide by the stipulated time frames. Time-keeping and movement prior to entering the shrine as well as within the shrine is beyond any visiting person’s control. Entry, time and movement is guided by the huge crowd gathering and it is presumed that the shrine officials also do not pay much attention to those who have pressing time constraints / scheduled flights, etc.
    So, my wife and I arrived back at the helipad at almost 17h40. We understand that this was much later than the allotted time as per the amended boarding pass. We admit however, that this was neither deliberate, nor as a result of our negligence, or any sort of undue delaying tactics. It was purely due to circumstances beyond our control.

    So the drama and frustration begins when we were met with the officials of both Global Vectra and the Himalayan helicorp, where we requested access to our return flight. The Global officer tells us in no uncertain terms and in a rather arrogant manner that we will not be put on a flight back as we have missed our timelines. Yet there were many passengers (of India origin) who had come after us and who were in a similar situation, but who were put onto the next two flights. He blatantly told us that there was no chance of us flying back down as there were no other flights and that we should start walking down the mountain. We put up several arguments with him, illustrating how the time frames between the flights was not sufficient for us to have walked the remaining distances as well as to allow us to complete the pilgrimage. In response, he had the audacity to suggest that we should have abandoned the pilgrimage and returned for the flight. Now really, with a heartfelt desire and once in a lifetime ambition to undertake this holy pilgrimage and having travelled more than 8000kms from abroad, am I really expected to resort to this measure. Rather shameful !
    With sheer arrogance, he stormed out of his cubicle and walked away from us as though he would not help us further. A little away from his cubicle, he was joined by the officer from Himalayan and they both had a short discussion, and he then subsequently returned to attend to other passengers who had turned up.
    By this time, the Officer from the Himalayan Helicorp began announcing that he would be having only three seats available on his very last flight down and anyone who desperately need a flight ticked could book by him at Rs 1000 per head. He began to coerce us by proposing that we grab that option.
    However, my wife and I began protesting as to how we were being discriminated against, purely because we were foreigners, and we were making it known to all present at that moment, that we were fully aware of how other Indian passengers who were also late but were being accommodated. We also gathered quickly that the attempt to sell us tickets by Himalayan was merely a ploy for us to spend that extra amount which these guys would make a cut from. We made it clear that we would not fall for that.
    We were adamant that we will not accept such treatment and we threatened to expose this type of corruption, as it appeared to us. We kept on asking the Vectra official for his identification as we had intended to report this to the Shrine Board. By this time, we were both very annoyed and rather emotional .
    Surprisingly, the Himalayan official, whilst having no further contact with the Global Officer thereafter, and by seeing our stance of not falling for their ploy, and by beginning to realise that we venting out our frustration, of his own accord came back to pacify us and indicated that we need not get upset, as the Global officer will let us through on the next flight. As much as this brought us much relief, it left us with the bitter feeling of being abused and almost conned out of our pockets, at a place of worship, by two different airline operators, who obviously are in cahoots. May the God of your understanding forgive you, Gentlemen.
    As much as we insisted on obtaining on identification of the Global official, we were soon being comforted by other officials trying to apologise to us and for us to squash the matter. Gladly we were able to be on the next flight, but all in all, this turned our Katra and Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine experience to be a rather bitter and frustrating one.
    It is hoped that the Shrine Board would take this experience in its context and perhaps look into allowing the helicopter service that is being rendered, to be a little more reasonable in the allocation of comfortable time-frames and to add a bit of honesty in its operation, for the greater benefit of all.
    Thank you for taking the time to read through and hope this may add value to other future travellers.
    Chats Chatrooghoon
    South Africa

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