Amarnath Yatra Goes Green: 600+ Workers Aim for ‘Zero-Landfill’

Amarnath Yatra Goes Green: 600+ Workers Aim for ‘Zero-Landfill’

Fifteen waste processing facilities have been set up and over 600 workers deployed along the two routes of the Amarnath Yatra in the south Kashmir Himalayas to achieve “zero-landfill” by ensuring a garbage-free sustainable pilgrimage, a senior government official said on Wednesday.

More than one lakh pilgrims have visited the cave shrine located at a height of 3,880 metre — using the 48-km Nunwan-Pahalgam route in Anantnag and 14-km shorter but steep Baltal route in Ganderbal — since the 52-day yatra began on June 29.

The official said the 15 waste processing facilities, eight along the Baltal route starting from Neelgrath and seven along the Pahalgam route starting from Nunwan till Panchtarni, have been set up by the Directorate of Rural Sanitation and departments of rural development and panchayati raj.

Wet waste is processed using conventional composting methods and dry waste through segregation into recyclable or non-recyclable waste.

More than 600 workers and nearly 25 management supervisory staff have been deployed on both the routes to handle day-to-day waste collection, its transportation and processing and scientific disposal, the official said.

He said eight vehicles, five for the Baltal route and three for the Pahalgam route, have been deployed for collection and transportation of waste to locations at the base camps.

The official said a “significant” quantity of wet and dry waste has been collected from different locations over the past few days and it has been processed.

From June 27 till July 2, nearly 61.350 tonnes of waste has been handled, he said, adding that out of this, 17.25 tonnes were wet waste — 3.315 tonnes collected from the Pahalgam route and 14.205 tonnes from the Baltal route — and this has been put into the compost beds.

Further, 22.23 tonnes of dry waste — 7.31 tonnes collected from the Pahalgam route and 14.920 tonnes from the Baltal route — has been processed after segregating it into recyclable and non-recyclable waster, he said.

In addition, the official said, 21.60 tonnes of inert and process rejects have been accumulated till now which will be send it to the RDF, or refuse-derived fuel, utilising industry by the service provider engaged for the same.

“These figures highlight the effectiveness of our waste management strategy, which emphasises the separate collection and processing of wet and dry waste to minimise environmental impact,” Director General, Rural Sanitation, Jammu and Kashmir, Anoo Malhotra, said.

She said the collaborative efforts of service providers, volunteers and pilgrims have been instrumental in maintaining the sanctity and cleanliness of the yatra routes. “The department remains committed to upholding these standards throughout the pilgrimage, ensuring a zero-landfill experience for all participants,” Malhotra said.

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