THE UTTAR Pradesh government on Friday issued an order notifying Vrindavan and Barsana towns in Mathura district as “pavitra teerth sthals (sacred pilgrimage sites)”. No meat and liquor shops will be allowed in these towns anymore. Principal Secretary (Religious Affairs) Avinish Kumar Awasthi said: “… from now, meat and liquor shops will be prohibited in these notified areas…. Vrindavan and Barsana are the first two places to be notified as teerth sthal in government records.”
He said when Uttarakhand was part of Uttar Pradesh, the government had issued such an order for Hardwar, notifying it as “teerth sthal”.
The state government recently merged Vrindavan, a former nagar palika parishad, with the Mathura municipal board to create Mathura Nagar Nigam. Barsana is a nagar panchayat. Both Mathura Nagar Nigam and Barsana Nagar Panchayat will go to polls next month.
The government has directed the departments of urban development, excise, food and drug administration, general administration and home to ensure that necessary steps are taken in this regard within three months.