Sale of liquor and meat will be banned in 22 wards under the Mathura-Vrindavan Municipal Corporation after a Uttar Pradesh government notification declared them holy pilgrimage sites on Friday, reported The Indian Express.
The decision came days after Chief Minister Adityanath had asked government officials on August 30 to ban the sale of these items in the city.
Adityanath had asked those involved in the liquor and meat trade to sell milk instead to revive the glory of the city, which is the birthplace of deity Krishna and considered a holy site by Hindus.
On Friday, Additional Chief Secretary (Religious Affairs) Awanish Kumar Awasthi told The Indian Express that that 22 wards, around 10 square km in area, will be reviewed by the Excise and the Food and Civil Supplies departments.
Kumar, who also handled the home department portfolio, said that licences of those selling liquor and non-vegetarian food will then be revoked accordingly.
The 22 wards, declared “pavitra teertha sthal”, or pious place of pilgrimage, are Bankhandi, Radhanagar, Govind Nagar, Mahavidya Colony, Mandi Ramdas, Chaubiyapada, Hanuman Tila, Dwarikapuri, Navneet Nagar, Bharatpur Gate, Arjunpura, Koyala Gali, Ghati Bahalrai, Dampiyar Nagar, Jagannath Puri, Gaughat, Manoharpura, Bairajpura, Badarinagar, Krishnanagar 1, Krishnanagar 2 and Jai Singh Pura.
Nine other wards had been given the same status earlier, reported NDTV, citing local authorities.
In its notification issued on Friday, the state government said that the Mathura-Vrindavan area is considered a holy site and lakhs of pilgrims from India and abroad visit the region.
The area is “historically significant” as well as important from the point of view of tourism, the government added.