New Delhi: Preparations are underway to ensure cleanliness and hygiene during the upcoming yatra to the cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas, the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry said on Monday (June 12). The preparations include acquiring more prefabricated toilets, disinfectants, hiring extra sanitation staff, engaging more “Swachhagrahis”, pre-yatra sanitation of lodging areas and the yatra route and de-sludging septic tanks, forming sanitation teams and appointing nodal officers, among other initiatives, a statement by the ministry said.
It said through the “Swachh Amarnath Yatra” initiative, the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) 2.0 has not only improved the overall pilgrimage experience but also reinforced the values of cleanliness and hygiene among the devotees.
The 62-day-long annual pilgrimage to the cave shrine of Amarnath, located at a height of 3,880 metres in south Kashmir Himalayas, will begin on July 1 and continue till August 31.
Under the SBM (U) 2.0, initiatives are taken to ensure a clean and waste-free environment for the yatris, the ministry said, adding robust waste management systems are implemented along with clean sanitation facilities and awareness campaigns promoting cleanliness and responsible waste disposal.
During last year’s yatra, the urban local bodies had installed and maintained a total of 127 toilet seats, 119 urinals and 40 bathing units along the route to improve sanitation, the statement said.
Additionally, the ULBs maintained over 780 toilets installed for the yatra. To achieve 100 per cent waste collection, the ULBs utilised 10 twin compartment vehicles on a daily basis, it added. They also installed 145 twin bins at all camps to facilitate waste segregation.
To handle the generated waste, the ULBs deployed 14 de-sludging vehicles daily during the yatra with additional vehicles on standby for emergencies, The statement said,
With an aim to ensure efficient waste processing, nine solid waste management facilities have been inaugurated on May 12, 2023 in 10 ULBs located in Jammu and Kashmir
The HUA ministry said in the statement,
Notably, three of these ULBs, Qazigund, Sumbal, and Ganderbal, fall along the yatra route. These facilities will process 40 tonnes of waste daily
Each centre has a material recovery facility for dry waste which includes segregation, bailing and shredding facilities. Compost pits are also provided for processing of wet waste, it added. On Friday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said the Narendra Modi government’s priority is to ensure that Amarnath pilgrims have a comfortable visit and directed officials to make adequate security arrangements along the entire pilgrimage route in Jammu and Kashmir.
He said this while chairing a high-level meeting where he took stock of the preparations for the annual pilgrimage with top officials of the central government, Army and the Jammu and Kashmir administration.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – theLGBTQ population,indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the currentCOVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water,SanitationandHygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fightmalnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health,adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues likeair pollution,waste management,plastic ban,manual scavengingand sanitation workers andmenstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India wheretoiletsare used andopen defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched byPrime Minister Narendra Modiin 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.