http://great-smoky-mountains-park.org/fun-facts/plan-your-visit Vaishno Devi temple has won the prestigious ‘Cleanest Religious Place’ award in recognition of the management board’s efforts towards ensuring cleanliness all along the tracks and adjoining areas enroute the cave shrine.
- Over 81 lakh pilgrims visit Vaishno Devi every year
- The shrine is considered as one of the iconic places which are part of the Swachh Bharat Mission pilot project
- The initiatives have helped save 5.5 million gallons of fresh water annually
Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board Chief Executive Officer Dheeraj Gupta received the award from Union Minister Nitin Gadkari at “Safaigiri Summit and Awards” ceremony in Mumbai. The event was organised by a media house on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti.
Besides promoting novel initiatives to ensure hygiene for pilgrims, the board has been focusing on keeping its entire campus clean and working towards minimising waste generation. In addition to mobilising specialised sanitation machinery, a workforce of over 1,000 people has been deployed for the purpose.
Special sanitation drives are carried out regularly on adjoining hill slopes, in the Bhawan area and all the establishments, with dedicated drives on fortnightly basis for cleaning of Banganga rivulet, its embankments and the bathing ghats.
The shrine has installed waterless urinals, reverse vending machines and water ATMs to improve the environmental conditions.
In 2017, it had received the ‘Special Swachh Iconic Place’ award. A major cleanliness drive was aggressively started by the board on the directions of former Governor NN Vohra, who was also the board chairman.