JAMMU: The famous Mata Vaishno Devi shrine atop the Trikuta hills in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir has been adjudged 'Best Swachh Iconic Place' in the country, an official said on Tuesday.
According to the spokesperson of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB), President Ram Nath Kovind will confer the award during the 'Swachh Mahotsav' to be organised by the ministry.
The union ministry of Jal Shakti, department of drinking water and sanitation, released its rankings of Swachh Iconic Places on Tuesday.
The Shrine, which is visited by thousands of devotees daily, has been adjudged on the basis of the overall improvement in sanitation brought about by the board due to several initiatives taken in last few years to ensure cleanliness of the entire shrine area, the official said.
Initiatives like installing water kiosks, equid dung management centre, kill waste machines, collection, transportation and disposal of waste along with regular mopping up of waste though a workforce of 1300 sanitation workers among others have enabled the shrine to achieve the top rank, the spokesperson said.
He said the shrine competed with a dozen other iconic places in the country including Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (Maharashtra), Taj Mahal (Uttar Pradesh), Tirupati Temple (Andhra Pradesh), Golden Temple (Punjab), Ajmer Sharif Dargah (Rajasthan), Kamakhya Temple (Assam), Jagannath Puri (Odisha), Church and Convent of St Francis of Assissi (Goa) among others.
In 2017, the shrine received a special award from the union ministry of drinking water and sanitation for bagging the second spot behind the Golden Temple.
He said Governor Satya Pal Malik, who is also Chairman of SMVDSB, congratulated the Chief Executive Officer and all employees of the board, particularly those engaged in the sanitation, for bringing recognition to the board at National level.