Srinagar: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha Thursday said that the government resolves to make Amarnath Yatra a zero-waste pilgrimage.
An official spokesman in a statement issued here said that launching various innovative initiatives of the Rural Development Department (RDD) to make the Amarnath Yatra a zero-landfill pilgrimage, the LG congratulated the department and Swaaha Resource Management for their commendable work.
These initiatives include reusable cloth bags, yatra anthem for sustainable and responsible tourism, MIS portal and web app for waste process monitoring.
“Zero-waste yatra is our resolve. Sincere efforts are being made to transform information, education, and communication campaigns into behavioural change communication and also to create an effective model for solid waste management,” Sinha said.
He said that with the help of volunteers, the IEC campaign, and seamless coordination at four different stages of Solid Waste Management, the aim of the government was to evoke profound responsibility towards the environment, protection of natural heritage, and the sustainable use of natural assets.
“Swachh campaign for this year's Amarnath Yatra signifies the government's commitment to safeguard spiritual, cultural, economic, and ecological values. IT tools, maximum use of renewable energy sources will ensure clean, pure, and unique experience to the yatris,” the LG said.
“Your biggest competition is you,” he told the RDD for outstanding work in solid waste management during the previous year and achieving several milestones in recycling.
Sinha said that such integrated efforts and the waste management model could be replicated for other pilgrimages.
“We will direct Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) to study and implement this model,” he said.
The LG shared the feedback received from the yatris and highlighted the achievements registered on various parameters pertaining to the conduct of the yatra this year.
He also released insignia, IEC material, and guidelines for sustainable and zero landfill yatra campaign.
RDD is working in partnership with Swacha Resource Management.
To spread awareness about sanitation and sustainability, renowned Bollywood singer Shaan Mukherji has sung the yatra anthem.
Movable inflatable mascots, touch screen kiosks, audio jingles, guidelines for the yatris and langars, IEC posters and banners have been designed to educate and sensitise the yatris and other stakeholders for cleanliness, zero landfill, and to avoid plastic.
Free reusable cloth bags are also being distributed to make the yatra experience polythene free for the yatris.
Chief Executive Officer of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) Mandeep Kumar Bhandari and Commissioner Secretary Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Mandeep Kaur attended the ceremony at Raj Bhawan.