Thousands clean Haridwar’s ‘kanwaria’ mess

Haridwar, Aug 14 (IANS) Some 5,000 activists linked to a spiritual group here on Friday cleaned the main Ganga ghat, the railway platforms and the roads linking them of tonnes of garbage dumped by ‘kanwarias’.

The activists began the mass cleaning at 7 in the morning at Har ki Pauri, the most popular ghat along the holy river, a spokesperson for the Gayatri Parivar group told IANS.

The activists also descended on the many platforms at the Haridwar railway station as well as shops-lined road leading up to Har ki Pauri, the spokesperson told IANS.

“We have done as good a job as we could possibly do,” he said. “The place was a mess, with tonnes of garbage, used clothes and polythene.

“Our main focus was naturally Har ki Pauri. We also realized that the entire route from the ghat to the railway station was also in a mess. So we cleaned up the road too.

“The railway station too was cleaned,” the spokesperson said.

According to him, while Haridwar city is home to some four or five lakh people, “more than one crore kanwarias descended on Haridwar in the past 10 days or so, creating a real mess”.

Haridwar’s infrastructure could not cope with the rush, he said.

Kanwarias are devotees of Hindu god Shiva who march to Haridwar to collect water from the Ganges and go walking back to their villages and towns where they offer the water at Shiva temples.

The annual ‘kanwaria’ season ended on Wednesday.

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