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Amarnath Yatra-2023: Lt Guv launches various initiatives of RDD

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Says government determined to make yatra zero-waste pilgrimage

SRINAGAR: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha Thursday launched various innovative initiatives of Rural Development Department to make Shri Amarnath Ji Yatra a zero-landfill pilgrimage.

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 Lt Governor congratulated the Rural Development Department 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 Campaign into Behavioral Change Communication and also to create an effective model for solid waste management,” the Lt Governor 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 environment, protection of natural heritage and the sustainable use of natural assets.

“Swachh Campaign for this year’s Shri Amarnath Ji Yatra signifies government’s commitment to safeguard spiritual, cultural, economic and ecological values.  IT tools, maximum use of renewable energy source will ensure clean, pure and unique experience to pilgrims,” the Lt Governor said.

“Your biggest competition is you,” the Lt Governor told the Rural Development Department for outstanding work in solid waste management during the previous year and achieving several milestones in recycling.

Such integrated efforts and waste management model 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 Lt Governor also released Insignia, IEC material and guidelines for Sustainable and Zero Landfill Yatra campaign.

Rural Development Department 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 Ji Shrine Board; Ms. Mandeep Kaur, Commissioner/Secretary, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj; senior Rural Development Department and SASB officers and representatives of Swaaha Resource Management attended the ceremony at Raj Bhawan.

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