Union home ministry is aiming to turn Amaranth Yatra, the annual pilgrimage attended by lakhs of devotees, a major grosser to prop up the local economy of Kashmir. A fusion of economic interest can also be used to bring down tensions in the region, Centre thinks.It is already an important binding force and if properly utilised to increase the local earnings and business can help provide livelihood to people and thus reduce tension, thinks the home ministry.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The announcement by local militant groups that they would keep off from the Yatra, known as Chhadi Mubarak, and let it pass off peacefully has added to the resolve of the Centre to make a headway in this direction.”We are already in advance consultation with the J&K government and other ministries like tourism, environment and space and earth sciences on how to improve logistics at the local level by providing for better boarding and lodging for the tourists and improving transportation with the help of local people.The tourism ministry has been tasked to plan and make tour packages for Amarnath Yatra in which local component will be weaved in. This, in turn, will help in local job creation,” said the official.The food that is sent from the states of Jammu, Punjab and Haryana in hundreds of trucks to hold Bhandaras along the Yatra route may also see some changes. Centre thinks that to begin with some of it can be sourced out to the local people.”This will help not only reducing pollution levels by bringing down the number of trucks in the ecologically fragile region but also give a chance to make an earning to the local people,” added the official.
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