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Amarnath yatra pilgrims urinating in Sindh river: A threat to environment

The Amarnath Yatra, a revered Hindu pilgrimage that attracts millions of devotees annually, has recently come under scrutiny

By Wahid Bhat
New Update
Amarnath yatra pilgrims urinating in Sindh river: A threat to environment

The Amarnath Yatra, a revered Hindu pilgrimage that attracts millions of devotees annually, has recently come under scrutiny due to concerns surrounding the behaviour of pilgrims.

Amarnath yatris urinating in Sindh river

The sight of pilgrims urinating in the Sindh River, a prominent waterway passing through the scenic Sonamarg region, has sparked concerns. Although the Amarnath Yatra holds tremendous religious importance, it is vital to acknowledge and tackle the environmental consequences of such behaviors.

The pollution caused by pilgrims urinating in the river poses a significant threat to the delicate ecosystem and raises questions about the responsible and sustainable conduct of the pilgrimage.

A Sonamarg resident Waeem Ahmad Bhat said, "The Sindh River is not only a source of water but also a symbol of our natural heritage. It is disheartening to witness such acts of pollution during the Amarnath Yatra. We urge the authorities and pilgrims to respect and preserve our environment”.

Another local resident Jahangir Khan adds, "The influx of pilgrims during the Amarnath Yatra brings both blessings and challenges to our region. While we welcome the devotion and spiritual significance of the pilgrimage, it is essential for all visitors to be mindful of their actions and ensure they do not harm our fragile ecosystem."

"The Sindh river is not just a water source; it is a lifeline for our community and the ecosystem it supports. It is distressing to see the disregard for our environment during the Amarnath Yatra. We need better education and responsible behavior from the pilgrims," he adds.

Need more public toilets

A shop owner in Sonamarg Mohammad Younis said, "We respect the religious sentiments of the pilgrims, but it is disheartening to witness such acts of pollution in our beautiful river. We urge the authorities to create awareness and enforce stricter regulations to preserve the cleanliness of our water bodies".

He added, "We need more public toilets and sanitation facilities along the Yatra route to prevent such incidents. Providing adequate infrastructure will not only maintain the cleanliness of the river but also enhance the overall pilgrimage experience for everyone."

How does peeing in river affect environment

The act of urinating in bodies of water, such as lakes or rivers, can have detrimental effects on the environment and wildlife. Urine contains nitrates that can lead to increased algae growth, making the water toxic to fish and other aquatic life. Human urine can contain drug byproducts that further contaminate water and pose risks to both people and wildlife.

According to experts, urine is considered a biohazard and must be disposed of properly to avoid environmental risks. Water treatment plants play a crucial role in providing drinking water, and inadequate urine disposal can interfere with their effectiveness. It is essential to be aware of how our actions, even as individuals, can impact the environment.

In situations where access to the bathroom is limited, it is recommended to urinate into an airtight container and throw it away. If that is not possible, it is recommended to find a spot at least 200 yards from water sources, free of foliage such as poison ivy. Squatting low to the ground without touching it and using tissues or toilet paper (properly discarded) is the best approach to addressing the call of the wild in outdoor settings.

Flushing urine down the toilet contributes to the unnecessary waste of fresh water. While urine is usually sterile and harmless, it is important to recognize that it does not require the same level of treatment as wastewater.

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