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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Apr 2014

NGO takes lead in making Bijli Mahadev garbage-free

Chhavinder Thakur , Hindustan Times  Manali, August 02, 2013
First Published: 18:33 IST(2/8/2013) | Last Updated: 18:34 IST(2/8/2013)

Located at an altitude of 2,338 m, the Bijli Mahadev temple, famous for its unique shivling which is restored by the priest using butter after it is shattered into pieces by lightning, is all set to get a facelift, with an NGO taking up the charge of making the area garbage-free.

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Gaurav Bhardwaj, president of the Youth Association for Transforming Nation (YATN), alleged that in spite of thousands of tourists and devotees visiting the tourist destination-cum-pilgrimage centre every day, no arrangements had been made for garbage disposal.

“Lakhs of devotees and foreign and domestic tourists throng Bijli Mahadev in August and September every year, but no one is concerned about preserving the ecology of the region. Even the devotees who visit to pay obeisance do not contribute in keeping the ancient temple neat and clean,” he added.

Saying that the clean-up drive organised by the NGO last year had received positive results, he added that a delegation of YATN members had already met deputy commissioner Rakesh Kanwar and district forest officer BL Negi to discuss about a similar activity this year.

“During the forthcoming bhandaras, we would distribute utensils made with broad leaf rather than paper plates at the community lunch. We have also started distributing bin bags to visitors to prevent littering, apart from posters, handbills and pamphlets written in the vernacular, to educate visitors about preserving the glory of the temple,” Bhardwaj claimed.

The association had also put up temporary dustbins in the area, he added.“Our efforts to motivate the youth through social networking websites, including Facebook, have been successful, as 100 volunteers have got themselves registered so far,” he claimed.

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