SRINAGAR, JUN 14: Minister for Forest Environment and Ecology Rajiv Jasrotia today took a comprehensive review of various arrangements put in place for annual Amarnath Yatra here.
The minister took the review meeting with the officers of various departments here in Sonamarg Club meeting hall and later inaugurated the assistance camp for yatris at Baltal.
The review meeting was attended by chief conservator forests Farooq Geelani, CEO Sonmarg Development Authority SA Raina, Conservator Forests Srinagar circle Irfan Ali Shah, regional wild life warden Kashmir Rashid Naqash besides officials from R&B, PDD, PHE, CAPD, I&FC, Labour Department, Animal Husbandry Department, Health Department, Forest Protection Force, ARTO and DFO Ganderbal.
Jasrotia on the occasion expressed his satisfaction on the amount of work and arrangements completed till date to ensure smooth conduct of Yatra.
He laid stress on the measures aimed at preservation of environment by minimizing the use of plastic to avoid environmental degradation and directed officials to also prevent animal droppings to maintain it’s aesthetic sense.
The CEO, SDA said that they have ordered 500 animal diapers in first phase to be used to prevent animal droppings on the meadows and added that that they have ordered bio degradable bags to be distributed among shopkeepers to avoid use of polythene and besides they have also ordered reverse vending machine to dispose of the plastic bottles.
Minister directed the R&B Department to complete the patch work and maintain safe width of trek route and directed for improving the condition of road up to Baltal and removal of hindrances enroute.
Jasrotia also directed the PDD Department to install high mast lights along the track immediately to ensure hassle free movement of Yatris.
The forest minister asked the Health Department to ensure that adequate health facilities for yatra are in place including availability of doctors, medicines, and first aid and emergency facilities.
He directed the officers of the Forest Department to ensure firewood supplies for the yatra are expedited and firewood dumping at various places accelerated.
The minister asked the concerned officials to ensure free fire wood supplies to sadhus and for cremation purposes in case of any eventuality.
It was given out that Forest Department would supply 3,000 quintals of fire wood for yatris depending on weather and demand at the Baltal base camp.
The minister directed Environment Department to set up joint awareness camp with Pollution Control Board and put display screen in place with messages related to avoid littering.
Later on, the minister went to Baltal base camp and took stock of arrangements put in place there. He also inaugurated firewood cum forest assistance camp at Baltal.