The ban will be effective from Friday night.
Additional chief secretary, information department, Navneet Sehgal told TOI that besides the seven pilgrimage sites, 22 municipal wards around the temple complex will also be considered as pilgrimage sites. Three years ago, the state government had imposed the same ban in seven towns of religious significance in the district, namely, Govardhan, Baldev, Nandgaon, Radhakund, Gokul, Vrindavan and Barsana, after declaring them pilgrimage sites.
The notification issued by additional chief secretary Avnish Awasthi said that lakhs of pilgrims visit Mathura-Vrindavan every year and the religious site has mythological significance and is also important in terms of tourism. Therefore, the government has declared 22 wards as pilgrimage sites.
These are Ghati Bahalrai, Govind Nagar, Mandi Ramdas, Chaubiapada, Dwarikapuri, Navneet Nagar, Vankhandi, Bhartapur gate, Arjunpura, Hanuman Teela, Jagannathpuri, Gaughat, Manoharpura, Bairagpura, Radhanagar, Badrinagar, Mahavidya colony, Krishnanagar first, Krishnanagar second Koyla gali, Dampian Nagar and Jaisinghpura.
Expressing happiness over declaration of more pilgrimage sites in Mathura, Kapil Sharma, secretary of Shri Krishna Janmasthan Seva Sansthan, said that this is a historic decision. “Every Krishna devotee is elated with the government’s move as these things should never be allowed in religious towns,” he said.
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath had announced a ban on liquor and meat sale in Mathura during his recent visit to the district to celebrate Janmashtami. He suggested that those engaged in liquor and meat trade could take up selling milk in order to revive the glory of Mathura, which was known for producing huge quantities of milk.
“Every effort will be made to develop Brij Bhumi and there will be no dearth of funds for this. We are looking at a blend of modern technology and cultural and spiritual heritage for the development of the region,” he had said.