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Tuesday, March 10, 2009
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Governor visits Pahalgam, Lays Stress on Eco-aesthetic aspects of Amarnathji Yatra

Pahalgam, March 10 – Emphasizing the crucial importance of preserving and maintaining the aesthetic environmental grandeur of the fragile Himalayan region during the Shri Amarnathji Yatra, Governor, Mr. N. N. Vohra, today called for effective measures to ensure zero discharge of any pollutant into the Lidder and Sindh rivers.

  Governor, Mr. N. N. Vohra alongwith members of the Environment Sub-Committee visiting Nunwan, the base camp for Amarnathji Yatra at Pahalgam
Governor, Mr. N. N. Vohra alongwith members of the Environment Sub-Committee visiting Nunwan, the base camp for Amarnathji Yatra at Pahalgam

Accompanied by members of the Environment Sub-Committee, recently constituted by the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), comprising Dr Sunita Narain as Chairperson and Dr Ved Kumari Ghai and Mr. B. B. Vyas as members, the Governor undertook an extensive visit to the Nunwan Base Camp at Pahalgam this morning. The Governor particularly stressed the need for maintaining high standard of hygiene, cleanliness and sanitation at the various Camps which are established by the concerned Governmental agencies and the Shrine Board in June-August every year to provide the required facilities to the pilgrims during the period of the annual Yatra.

Consequent to the site inspection and detailed discussion with the Environment Sub-Committee, it was decided that an appropriate protocol for sampling and testing of effluents and waste water shall be worked out and enforced before the commencement of the Yatra to ensure against the flowing of any pollutants into the Lidder. As Chairman of the SASB, the Governor assured the Environment Sub-Committee that the momentum for establishing eco-friendly measures would need to be taken up with missionary zeal. It was decided that a time bound campaign would be launched to ensure the removal of plastics and segregation of waste materials.

The Governor and members of the Environment Sub-Committee, along with Sheikh Mushtaq Ahmad, Deputy Commissioner, Anantnag went round the sites for the toilet and wash blocks at the Nunwan Camp and discussed with them the efficacy of the technologies being adopted for treating the effluent and waste water in the camps established for the Yatris.

Later, the District Development Commissioner, Anantnag, Sheikh Mushtaq Ahmad, gave a detailed briefing to the Governor and the Environment Sub-Committee on the arrangements which are made by each of the concerned Government Departments and non-Governmental Organizations during the Yatra, focusing particularly on security, drinking water, electricity, medicare, supply of essential commodities etc.

The District Development Commissioner said that the concerned Government Departments were extending all required assistance to Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board for the smooth conduct of the Yatra and that there was no outstanding issue in this regard. However, the Governor reiterated the high importance of ensuring very close coordination between the various agencies for ensuring a pollution-free Yatra.

To further streamline the movement of Yatris through the Pahalgam town, the Governor and the Environment Sub-Committee, traveled on the Circuit Road in the town. The locals of the area met the Governor and sought his intervention for ensuring that the owners of the lodges and small hotels gained the maximum economic benefit from the annual Yatra. The Governor assured that the required action shall be taken to restore the erstwhile linkages between the locals and the tourists, which were marked by the warmth of the traditional Kashmiri hospitality.

The Governor, and the Environment Sub-Committee, undertook an aerial survey of the route to the Holy Shrine via the advance camps at Chandanwari, Sheshnagh and Panjtarni. On the return from the Holy Cave the survey was undertaken by the Baltal route.

Source: Government of Jammu and Kashmir, Department of Information, Press Note, Mar. 10, 2009
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