November 13, 2017
NGT also directed the authorities to impose a fine of Rs 2,000 on anyone found littering.
Today the National Green Tribunal directed only 50,000 pilgrims’ll be allowed to visit the Vaishno Devi shrine in Jammu to avoid any untoward incident.
The NGT also said that a new path to the shrine exclusively for pedestrians & battery-operated cars’ll be opened from 24th November.
The NGT also directed that no horses/mules shall be allowed on this new route & these animals shall be slowly removed from the old route as well.
It also directed the authorities to impose a fine (environment compensation) of ₹ 2,000 on anyone found littering the roads & the bus stop near Katra town.
The NGT bench headed by chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, made it clear that if the no. of pilgrims exceeds the prescribed 50000 cap, they’ll be stopped at Ardhkuwari or Katra town, considering that Vaishno Devi Bhawan structure can’t accomodate more than 50,000 persons.
The NGT’s directions came during the hearing of a petition filed by an activist seeking directions to stop the use of horses & ponies in Vaishno Devi shrine premises in Jammu, prompting the green panel to seek response from the govt. on the issue.
The petitioner had expressed concern over “pollution & danger to public health” caused by indiscriminate use of horses, ponies, mules & donkeys, to carry pilgrims & goods from Katra to the Vaishno Devi temple.
The directions came while NGT was hearing a plea filed by activist Gauri Maulekhi seeking to remove horses & mules from the path to the shrine, saying it’s dangerous for the pedestrians, especially the senior citizens.
“The new path which was constructed for ₹40 crore should be positively opened to public by 24th November. No further time’ll be granted & in default, appropriate action’ll be taken against the concerned authorities” it said.
Source - ptinews.com