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Take urgent steps to maintain cleanliness during yatras: Govt

New Delhi: The Centre has asked Uttarakhand, J&K, and Odisha governments to take urgent steps to ensure that the ongoing Kedarnath Yatra and upcoming Amarnath Yatra and Puri Rath Yatra are conducted ensuring high levels of cleanliness.
In an advisory, the housing and urban affairs ministry has suggested that plastics and single-use plastic items (SUPs) should be stopped at the base-camp level for Kedarnath and Amarnath yatris at the time of registration itself. It said the eateries along the approach roads should be sensitized about garbage collection, in-situ processing of food waste through waste to compost or waste to bio-gas units in their premises, and usage of bio-degradable cutlery and bags.
Union housing and urban affairs secretary, Manoj Joshi has written to chief secretaries of the three states asking them to provide sufficient numbers of public toilets throughout the approach roads to the shrines. The move comes barely days after PM Narendra Modi expressed his concern regarding the heap of filth in Kedarnath during his monthly radio address, Mann ki Baat.
According to an official statement, national teams from the ministry are being deputed to Uttarakhand, J&K, and Odisha starting this week, to take stock of the preparations underway and also to provide inputs for improving sanitation and garbage management.
The ministry said "local swachhata brand ambassadors" should be identified and designated for the "swachh yatra", and spread the messages of cleanliness to motivate visitors to behave responsibly and help in maintaining cleanliness.

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