Srinagar: A massive sanitation drive has been launched en route to the 3,880 metre high Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas to safeguard environment and ecology of the area.

"A post yatra sanitation drive has been launched in collaboration with the security forces and development authorities to clean up the camp sites and tracks," Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) Chief Executive Officer N K Choudhary said.

Several Hindu religious leaders and environmentalists have expressed grave concern over tonnes of wastes like plastic bottles, wrappers and other non biodegradable pollutants left behind by the pilgrims at base camps and various halting stations en route to the cave shrine, thereby threatening the ecology of the yatra area.

Besides the eco-friendly sewage treatment plants at Baltal and Nunwan (Pahalgam) base camps, toilets and bath facilities had also been augmented at the base camps, camps en route and in the shrine area with installation of 750 new portable toilets this year, Choudhary said.

Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Governor and SASB chairman N N Vohra has convened a post-yatra review meeting on August 8 to assess camp-wise and route-wise the adequacy of the arrangements that were made for the conduct of 2012 yatra.

Over 6.21 lakh pilgrims visited the holy cave during this year's yatra, which culminated on Thursday, coinciding with the occasion of 'Raksha bhandan'.


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