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Plastic bags banned on Amarnath yatra route
September 08, 2004 14:11 IST
Use of plastic bags has been banned in Pahalgam, Baltal and en route to the Amarnath cave shrine as part of a master plan to check environmental damage and introduce eco-friendly facililies for pilgrims.
Jammu and Kashmir Governor S K Sinha, who took stock of the cleaning up operations on the yatra track and base camps in Nunwan and Baltal yesterday, said the master plan would focus on facilities for pilgrims and ensuring a pollution-free environment.
The Shri Amarnath Shrine Board will arrange for jute bags to be used during the massive pilgrim yatra, Sinha, who was accompanied by state Forest Minister Ghulam Mohi-ud-din Sofi, said.
Interacting with non-governmental organizations, the governor, who is also SASB chairman, said suggestions for disposal of waste would be taken into account while formulating the master plan. Sinha said the SASB has already planned to raise environmental friendly toilets and shelters at various points and at the base camps of the yatra. About 716 toilets were erected this year in a record period of 15 days, he said.
Forest Minister Ghulam Mohi-ud-din Sofi said the government would work in tandem with the SASB in preserving the environment along the yatra route and providing various facilities to pilgrims.
Sinha said the Amarnath yatra had been a grand success this year and hoped pilgrim arrival would be far higher next year, which would give a boost to the local economy. He hailed the local youth, particularly school children from various schools in Pahalgam, the Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering and Winter Sports and NGOs for their participation in the cleaning up operation which started on September 3, immediately after the two-month long yatra concluded.
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