As part of the Shrine Board’s continuing efforts for enlarging and upgrading facilities for the pilgrims by adopting the latest eco-friendly technologies, on the directions of Governor N. N. Vohra, Chairman of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, a phased programme is being implemented for the renovation and technological upgradation of all Toilet Blocks located along the Katra to Bhawan tracks, for securing enhanced sanitation and high levels of cleanliness in the Shrine area.
In furtherance of these objectives, the renovation and upgradation of all 36 Toilet Blocks along the tracks has been recently completed at a cost of about Rs. 3.5 crore. Some of the upgraded Toilet Blocks have also been equipped with western style seats to meet the requirements of senior citizens and specially-abled persons.
For the first time, in line with the Board’s multifarious environment-friendly measures, bio-sanitation products based on a consortium of different microbes and extract of plants have been introduced, replacing chemical based reagents for cleaning of toilets.
Continuing with the initiative to add newer facilities for the pilgrims, a new 4-storey earthquake resistant Toilet Block with modern facilities is under construction at Adhkuwari. With a built up area of 8760 sft, this Toilet Block is estimated to cost Rs. 1.67 crore and will become functional by the forthcoming Navratras. It will have an elevator and covered sitting area on the rooftop. All the 7 Toilet Blocks on the recently inaugurated Tarakote Marg have also been specially equipped to cater to all segments of pilgrims, including senior citizens and specially- abled persons.
Meanwhile, in an effort towards water conservation and to reduce the very large quantity of water consumed for flushing of the urinals, all the 324 urinals installed all along the tracks, in Bhawan area and in other establishments of the Board have been converted into waterless urinals by switching over to the “Flush Me Not” programme. As a result of this, every urinal is saving at an average 10,000 to 12,500 litres of water per month, thereby making a net saving of nearly 4 crore litres of water per annum. This cost effective technology besides saving water also saves expenditure on chemical disinfectants by using eco-friendly cleaning products. It does not require any special expertise and is being handled by the local sanitation staff with rudimentary training. This technology has resulted in improved hygiene in and around the urinals and is being widely appreciated.