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LG launches initiatives to make Yatra a zero-landfill pilgrimage

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Srinagar: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today launched various innovative initiatives of the Rural Development Department to make Amarnath Yatra a zero-landfill pilgrimage, an official press release informed.

It said these initiatives include reusable cloth bags, Yatra Anthem for sustainable and responsible tourism, MIS Portal and Web App for waste process monitoring.

In his address on the occasion, the LG congratulated the Rural Development Department (RDD) and Swaaha Resource Management for their commendable work.

“Zero-waste pilgrimage is our resolve. Sincere efforts are being made to transform information, education and communication campaigns into behavioral change communication and also to create an effective model for solid waste management,” the LG said.

He said with the help of volunteers, IEC campaign and seamless coordination at four different stages of solid waste management, “our aim is to evoke profound responsibility towards the environment, protection of natural heritage and the sustainable use of natural assets.

“Swachh Campaign for this year’s Shri Amarnath Ji 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 pilgrims,” the LG said.

“Your biggest competition is you,” the LG told the RDD for outstanding work in solid waste management during the previous year and achieving several milestones in recycling.

“Such integrated efforts and waste management models can be replicated for other pilgrimages. We will direct Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board to study and implement this model,” he said.

He also shared the feedback received from pilgrims and highlighted the achievements registered on various parameters pertaining to the conduct of the Yatra this year.

On the occasion, the LG also released Insignia, IEC material and guidelines for sustainable and zero landfill Yatra campaign.

RDD is working in partnership with Swaaha Resource Management. The Yatra anthem is sung by the renowned Bollywood singer Shaan Mukherji to spread awareness about sanitation and sustainability.

Movable inflatable mascots, touch screen kiosks, audio jingles, guidelines for pilgrims and langers, IEC posters and banners have been designed to educate and sensitize pilgrims 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 pilgrims.

Dr Mandeep Kumar Bhandari, CEO, Shri Amarnath Shrine Board; Mandeep Kaur, Commissioner/Secretary, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj; senior RDD and SASB officers and representatives of Swaaha Resource Management attended the ceremony at Raj Bhawan.

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