Sweep­ing Change

Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Tem­ple

India Today - - SAFAI GIRI -

The Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Tem­ple was lit­er­ally a ‘holy’ mess be­fore the con­sti­tu­tion of a board to man­age its af­fairs in 1986. “But the big thrust hap­pened three years ago when there was a re­newed em­pha­sis on clean­li­ness and con­ser­va­tion,” says cur­rent ad­di­tional CEO of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, An­shul Garg. The im­prove­ments have swelled the faith too, pil­grim foot­falls were up to 81,78,000 last year.

In June this year, Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi inau­gu­rated two key projects at the shrine—a 7.5 km al­ter­na­tive paved path­way from the start­ing sta­tion at Ka­tra to Adhkuwari, and a ser­vice rope­way ca­pa­ble of trans­port­ing 5,000 kg of ma­te­rial from Sair Dabri to Bhawan ev­ery hour of the day.

Ini­tia­tives that have made a huge dif­fer­ence in­clude a ban on plas­tic, in­stalling of ‘wa­ter ATMs’ for free fil­tered drink­ing wa­ter, and wa­ter­less ‘flush­me­not’ kind toi­lets (it helps save some 5.5 mil­lion gal­lons of wa­ter an­nu­ally). Also, all waste­water gen­er­ated is re­cy­cled for use as se­condary wa­ter at the six sew­er­age treat­ment plants. —Asit Jolly

VI­JAY ANAND

SHRINE SHINE San­i­ta­tion work­ers at the Vaishno Devi shrine

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