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Polythene ban, waste disposal to be implemented on Yatra route
Along with ensuring the convenience and safety of pilgrims undertaking the Char Dham Yatra, the authorities this time will also be focusing on prohibition on polythene and ensuring proper solid waste management to prevent environmental damage.
The portals of Gangotri and Yamunotri shrines are slated to be reopened for devotees on April 18 while Kedarnath and Badrinath shrines would be reopened on April 29 and April 30 respectively, The State Tourism and Culture minister Satpal Maharaj informed that works on the all-weather road project are slated to be suspended during the Yatra season to prevent any hindrance on the Yatra circuit. To tackle the problem of environmental pollution in the Himalayabn pollution during the Yatra, polythene will be totally prohibited apart from special arrangements being made for solid waste management.
According to officials, the Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board (UTDB) is acting as a nodal body for establishing coordination among all departments concerned to expedite preparations for the Char Dham Yatra. In addition to arranging potable water, health services and safety of the travellers, arrangements are also being made to fully prohibit the use of polythene bags and facilitate proper solid waste disposal on the Yatra circuit. For the convenience of travellers, 218 temporary toilets have been set up on the Yatra route while 234 sanitation workers are also being appointed through Sulabh International social service organisation. Further, a sum of Rs two crore has been made available to local bodies for sanitation, drinking water and other civic facilities.
The UTDB chief executive officer Dilip Jawalkar informed that one of the special features of the Char Dham Yatra will be the provision of a mobile phone application. This mobile phone application which is nearly ready, is being provided to ensure that the visitors are able to access maximum information conveniently on their mobile phones. Apart from this, the board is also setting up counters at various places to facilitate photo-metric registration of the pilgrims and provision of varied assistance and information to them.
To prevent overpricing, instructions have been issued to owners of hotels and eateries the Yatra route to display rate list. The drivers of buses and taxies have also been directed to behave properly with those arriving in the state. According to information received from the transport department, 1350 buses will be operated from Rishikesh on rotational basis while 100 buses from Dehradun will also be plied on the Char Dham Yatra circuit. In addition to thse, 100 buses from Uttarakhand Transport Corporation and 50 buses from Kumaon Motor Owners Union, Haldwani will also be operated on the Yatra circuit.
Further, more than 12,000 taxis will also be available he Yatra routes. In case of special circumstances, school buses will also be put to use.
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