Religious tourism beneficial to economy of J and K, Governor

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Srinagar, May 18 (UNI) An amount of Rs 470 crore was pushing in annually in Katra township on Trikuta Hills, base camp of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi, a survey said.

A similar survey would be conducted for the two-month-long annual Amarnath Yatra starting June 18.

The survey conducted by Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi on the economic impact revealed that the visitors of the holy cave were pushing in Rs 470 crore annually in the township.

Over 75 lakh pilgrims visited the holy cave shrine on Trikuta Hills last year and the infrastructure is being upgraded to meet the requirements of one crore pilgrims annually, Jammu and Kashmir Governor Lt General S K Sinha said.

The Governor said a similar survey would be conducted on Amarnath Yatra which is beneficial to the economy of the local area.

He said Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board accords the highest priority to ensure that no damage is caused to environment or ecology of the area.

General Sinha said there is no forest cover around the cave shrine, situated at 13500 feet above sea level, but adequate care is being taken to make the routes and camping sites as eco-friendly as possible.

Extra care is being taken to ensure that wild life sanctuaries are not disturbed, he said, adding that the Board has geared up to take all possible measures for maintaining health and hygiene.

''Since four to five lakh pilgrims visit the Cave Shrine, we are trying to maintain high standards of hygiene'', he said.


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