Guwahati: When you arrive at Kamakhya, it definitely looks cleaner than other religious shrines that draw crowds as huge as the temple on top of the hill just outside Guwahati city. Kamakhya is one of the oldest of the 51 Shakti Pithas but to its credit it has proper signages, clean roads as you approach the temple. But there’s a long way to go before it becomes a Swachh tourist destination because to be Swachh in the true sense the needs to provide a clean experience in totality. This is something that can be achieved with proper planning and implementation of measures that have been outlined by the government.
Mohandas Tyagi, a sadhu from Haryana told NDTV, “We will always come forward to clean up a religious place. I want to appeal to the Govt of India to make every shrine clean and beautiful. I appeal to the public also to make these places clean”
15 lakh people visit the temple in a span of few days during the annual Ambubachi Mela. The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has chosen it to be developed as one of the Swacch Tourist Destinations. The Kamakhya Devalaya, the body responsible for the administration of the temple is already on board for the endeavor.
Bollywood numerologist Niraj Mancchandani says, for Kamakhya Temple to become a Swacch Tourist Destination not only pilgrims but also those living around the temple need to be made aware of the idea.
“You need to educate people about sanitation. It’s not only about toilets or going to the loo but it’s also about internalizing it as at the end dirt only turns into disease. We need to educate people in the surroundings of Kamakhya. Because if there sanitation is clean and if they are educated about it, then they will see to it that this place becomes cleaner than what it is right now,” Mancchandani says.
The Kamakhya Devalaya is already considering buying dumpers, rotoscrub machines and compactor machines to manage its waste.
But there are more problems that also need solutions. From the cleanliness of ponds used by the devotees to presence of animals in the temple premises that defecate in the open, these are issues that the temple management hopes to resolve with help from the ministry to become a Swacch tourist destination.