Vaishno Devi shrine named country’s ‘Best Swachh Iconic Place’
Mata Vaishno Devi shrine atop the Trikuta hills in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir has been named country’s ‘Best Swachh Iconic Place’. President Ram Nath Kovind will confer the award to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) during the ‘Swachh Mahotsav’ to be organised by Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation on 6 September 2019.
The Rankings of Swachh Iconic Places was released by Union ministry of Jal Shakti, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
Vaishno Devi Shrine which is visited by thousands of devotees daily, received a special award in 2017 from union ministry of drinking water and sanitation for bagging 2nd spot behind Golden Temple. In 2018, shrine was also declared as cleanest religious place by India Today Group.
Why Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine? The Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine has been adjudged on basis of overall improvement in sanitation brought about by board due to several initiatives taken in last few years to ensure cleanliness of entire shrine area.
Initiatives: taken by board includes not only equid dung management centre, installing water kiosks, kill waste machines, but also collection, transportation and disposal of waste along with regular mopping up of waste though a workforce of 1300 sanitation workers, among others have enabled shrine to achieve top rank.
Other competitors: The shrine competed with many other iconic places in country including-
Church and Convent of St Francis of Assissi (Goa), Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (Maharashtra), Tirupati Temple (Andhra Pradesh), Taj Mahal (Uttar Pradesh), Golden Temple (Punjab), Kamakhya Temple (Assam), Jagannath Puri (Odisha), Ajmer Sharif Dargah (Rajasthan), among others.