20 lakh people had arrived in Haridwar on Kartik Poornima
Lakhs of people visiting Haridwar and bathed in the Ganga river on the occasion of Kartik Poornima on Tuesday. While traffic congestion was faced on the occasion, a day later heaps of garbage have been left behind on the Ganga Ghats and other localities in Haridwar. Observers point out that this points the failure of the municipal corporation of Haridwar to handle the additional waste generated by the visitors and the inefficiency of the district authorities in handling the event at a time when the State is also preparing to host the Kumbh Mela here in 2021. While about 20 lakh people visited Haridwar on Kartik Poornima, crores of people are expected to arrive here during the Kumbh Mela.
On Wednesday, stray cattle could be seen browring through heaps of discarded clothes and garbage piled on the Ganga Ghats in Haridwar. Members of a group of pilgrims from Assam said that they had been to most pilgrimage centres in Uttarakhand and had seen the maximum heaps of garbage in Haridwar. The Ghats in Haridwar are also dirtier that in other places of pilgrimage, they opined.
The city’s municipal health officer Dr Kailash Gunjyal said, “On an average the city generates about 250 metric tonnes of garbage everyday but during any festive occassion the quantity of garbage generated in a day rises to about 400 metric tonnes. A similar increase in garbage generation was seen during Ganga Snan. It takes about 48 hours to clean up the garbage left behind after such special occasions. Workers will be deployed for maintaining sanitation during the Kumbh Mela.”
While the authorities try to tackle the situation, observers point out that despite focus on enhancing pilgrimage in Haridwar, the state authorities have failed to even deter the visitors from dumping garbage on the Ghats of the very Ganga in which they bathe to earn religious merit.
Thursday, 14 November 2019 | PNS | Haridwar
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