In his monthly ‘Mann ki Baat’ radio address, Modi said, “I also saw that some devotees are also very sad because of the filth spread by some pilgrims at Kedarnath. Many people also expressed their views on social media. To go on a sacred pilgrimage and stumble upon a pile of rubbish there is not good… We go there to experience it (the divinity of Dev Bhoomi), so it is our responsibility to maintain that divinity and this spirituality.”
The Prime Minister said that while thousands of devotees reach Kedarnath every day and share pleasant experiences, the dirt dumped has caused many pilgrims to suffer. Piles of rubbish, especially plastic, left behind by pilgrims at this environmentally sensitive location have become a source of concern for experts as they can lead to erosion and cause landslides. It also affects the natural vegetation of the area. Recently, photographs of piles of trash have gone viral on social media platforms, prompting netizens to demand tough penalties for offenders. Some have urged the government to cap the number of tourists per season.
During his radio address, Modi said that although there have been several complaints, there are some good initiatives taken by the people of Uttarakhand. Many devotees clean up the areas around their places of stay, while others pick up trash along the road, he said. “Many organizations and voluntary organizations are working there with the campaign team of Swachh Bharat,” he said.
Modi also pointed out that just as a pilgrimage is important, the ‘teertha sewa’ is equally important. Without ‘teertha sewa’, a pilgrimage is incomplete, he added.
He gave examples of people in Uttakhand doing their best to keep the state clean and some teaching village women about waste management.
You Can Read Also