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Authorities ban use of polythene during Amarnath pilgrimage

Written by: Staff
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Srinagar, May 13 (UNI) The Jammu and Kashmir government has banned use of polythene during the two-month-long Amarnath pilgrimage, commencing next month.

The Governor, Lt Gen (rtd) S K Sinha who is also chairman of the shrine board, asked the district administration to ban use of polythene on the entire track and base camps.

The Deputy Commissioner, Anantnag, assured Mr Sinha during a meeting at Pahalgam last evening that the ban would be implemented in letter and spirit.

He informed the meeting that orders in this regard had already been issued.

Gen Sinha appreciated the measures being taken to set up environment-friendly pre-fabricated portable toilets with pits instead of deep trench latrines that used to emit foul smell in the periphery.

He made a strong plea for stopping effluent from toilets or langers into the Lider river and said no compromise would be made on this account.

The Governor called for coordinated efforts among various agencies and the Shrine Board in conducting incident-free yatra, saying such a mechanism during the past three consecutive years has worked very well.

''Amarnathji yatra is a symbol of Kashmir's composite culture, which is incomplete without the active support of the local people,'' he said, adding pilgrim tourism alongside traditional tourism has proved a boon to the economy of Kashmir.

Elaborating on the revival of tourism, Gen Sinha noted with satisfaction there was a fillip in tourist arrivals from 28000 in 2002 to over six lakhs last year. This year over 1.50 lakh tourists have already thronged the valley even though the tourism season is yet to gain steam, he said, hoping the number to cross eight lakhs by the close of the year.

UNI BAS RL DS1401

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