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Sub-Committee on rehabilitation of mule owners meets stakeholders

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REASI: The Sub-Committee constituted to expedite the consultation process for rehabilitation of mule owners operating between Katra and Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji Shrine today held a meeting with the stakeholders under the Chairmanship of Advisor to Governor B B Vyas here at Katra.
Advisor to Governor K Vijay Kumar and Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam were present in the meeting.
The meeting was attended by Chief Executive Officer Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) Dheeraj Gupta, Principal Secretary Animal and Sheep Husbandry Dr Asgar Hassan Samoon, Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Sanjeev Verma, Secretary Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Department Abdul Majid Bhat, Deputy Commissioner Reasi Prasanna Ramaswamy G, SSP Reasi Nisha Nathyal, Additional CEO SMVDSB Anshul Garg, Director Urban Local Bodies Jammu Rajinder Singh Tara, Additional Secretary H&UDD Narinder Khajuria, SDM Katra Neelam Khajuria, CEO Katra Development Authority Jagdish Mehra and senior functionaries of concerned departments.
The Committee re-started the consultation process with the representatives of State Government, SMVDSB and other stakeholders including mule owners and hoteliers at Katra to deliberate on the issue.
While apprising the committee, the CEO SMVDSB informed that 4230 mules have been registered and ear tagged by SPCA on the directions of the National Green Tribunal. Registration cards have also been provided to existing mule operators, he said.
He also informed that mule dung generated in the Banganga sector is being treated at the Biogas Plant at Banganga and the Bio gas generated is used for cooking purposes in Gulshan Langer. He further informed that mule dung generated at Adhkuwari, Sanjichhat, Bhawan and Bharon sectors is being shifted to composting site near Tarakote on a daily basis for conversion to organic manure through pit compositing. Gupta also briefed about the other measures undertaken by the Shrine Board to address other ecological concerns in the area.
Principal Secretary Animal and Sheep Husbandry also apprised the committee about the steps taken by the department to improve veterinary services including construction of hospital building for mules at Katra.
President and Chairman Hotel and Restaurant Association, Katra Rakesh Wazir and Sham Lal Kesar, President Mule Owners Association of Katra Sohan Singh, President Shopkeepers Association Shamsher Singh and its representative Manohar Singh were also present in the meeting.
All the stakeholders opined that any decision in this regard should take care of religious sanctity and sensitivity associated with the Yatra and also other matters like livelihood issues of mule operators, Solid Waste Management and environmental conservation.
The Sub-Committee shall take into consideration the suggestions and opinions of the various stakeholders and submit its recommendations in this regard.

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